Meanwhile, artificial trees don’t have the ability to be broken down and reused in quite the same way.
Doug Hundley, a spokesperson for the National Christmas Tree Association, told the publication that the trees are “plastic and metal and they end up in our landfills.”
According to waste management company Recycle Track Systems, even if a real tree is taken to the landfill instead of being turned into mulch, it will still decompose in six months.
“Disposing of a tree by composting produces CO2 and methane,” said Darran Messem, former Managing Director of Certification at the Carbon Trust, in a press release. “An artificial tree has a higher carbon footprint than a natural one because of the energy-intensive production processes involved.”
“By far the best option is a potted tree which, with care, can be replanted after the festive season and re-used year after year. This could even result in negative emissions, thanks to your tree’s carbon-capturing potential.”