December 3, 2007 / 12:25 PM / 11 years ago

Britons waste billions on unwanted Christmas gifts

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britons waste 2.3 billion pounds ($4.74 billion) every year on unwanted Christmas presents, and almost a third of them wind up being sold online after the festive season.

More than three-quarters of 1,400 adults surveyed for charity World Vision said they waste up to 50 pounds on unwanted gifts every Christmas.

Of the hundreds of thousands of unwanted gifts received each year, 39 percent gather dust in a cupboard and 28 percent are later sold on the Internet.

A quarter of the population spends up to 300 pounds on gifts for friends and family each year, the survey shows.

But almost 60 percent who waste money on unwanted Christmas presents said they would rather spend that money on themselves than give it to charity.

The research also shows that more than a quarter of Britons cannot remember what anyone bought them for Christmas last year.

Half of men and 43 percent of women could not even recall what their partners gave them.

World Vision undertook the research to coincide with the launch of its catalogue selling gifts that aim to help people in poverty around the world. They include a mosquito net for 5 pounds and a toilet for 34 pounds.

Editing by Steve Addison and Paul Casciato

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