These Christmas tree bags in France can help with more than housework

Charity bags fund services for disadvantaged children across world, as well as help disabled workers in France

The bags are an ethical – and charitable – way to remove your Christmas tree when the holiday season is over
Published Last updated

One of the cornerstones of Christmas celebrations across the world is putting and decorating a Christmas tree, or sapin de noël.

Although synthetic alternatives exist on the market, many people opt to buy a ‘fresh’ tree each year, which can easily be purchased from shops and markets across the country.

Removing the tree can be considerably more difficult than putting it up, with many people finding it a struggle to know what to do when January rolls around.

However, in France special sacs à sapin, or Christmas tree bags, are available, with one brand in particular donating money from sales to various charities across the world.

These bags are from Handicap International and are made in France by disabled workers. They are biodegradable and an authorised way for people to safely throw away their tree after the holiday period is over.

This year will be the 30th consecutive year the bags are available to purchase, and to celebrate the group have also created a new product, a set of five pochettes cadeaux useful for gift cards and offers of money that make their way into stockings at Christmas.

Bags fund charity measures worldwide

Your tree can be bagged before taking it outside, limiting the number of fallen pine needles.

Read more: Eight ideas for what to do with your old Christmas tree in France

A number of companies produce these bags which can be found in supermarkets across France. Those from Handicap International are extremely popular with French families, selling around 315,000 bags last year.

The bag costs €5, of which at least €1.50 is donated to various charity initiatives The group states that the money helps “to clear 80,000 m² of land of mines, provide 1,575 wheelchairs and 3,150 prostheses to children so that they can return to school.”

The group works in 60 countries worldwide, including France.

Produced in France

In addition to the charitable aspects, customers are also drawn by the company’s social and ecological values.

The bags are biodegradable, disintegrating completely within 12 months (or within six months if not in a landfill) and are made of cornstarch and at least 50% renewable, ethically sourced materials.

They are made in the Rhône area all year round by a team of 20 disabled workers, “in a specially adapted environment that promotes their social and professional integration,” says its website.

“The entire process, from design to delivery to shops, is managed by the association, enabling it to finance its actions in the field,” it adds.

You can find the bags online through the official Handicap International website.

Related articles

Salmon, panettone: beware these 7 Christmas food ‘scams’ in France

La Poste, fire service: where does money from calendars go in France?