BE GREEN THIS EASTER
In a recent consumer poll, 59% of British adults said that they thought Easter eggs are over-packaged and more wanted to see brands take steps to reduce packaging.*
In fact, Easter Eggs only contribute a very small percentage of the total household packaging produced in the UK each year - 0.266% to be eggs-act.
As gift products, many of us expect the packaging of Easter eggs to be special, yet at the same time nothing seems to irritate us more when having eaten all the chocolate we are left with a mountain of waste.
So, does chocolate heaven have to mean packaging waste hell?
No! Examples of Easter egg packaging reductions made in the last year by retailers, brands and manufacturers have been popping up everywhere.
I received an e-newsletter from Thornton's this week (yes I am a registered chocoholic!), which included the fact that they had reduced their Easter packaging by 22% which is equal to 73 tonnes of packaging waste saved!
Nestle also reported this February that it "...has reduced packaging across its entire range by 30%. This move will save at least 700 tonnes of waste, the same weight as 100 double-decker buses."
Nestle has also removed plastic from 20 million Easter eggs. Not only has this saved packaging and makes it easier to recycle but "...because eggs are more compact, the move will save 48,000 road miles in transporting Easter eggs".
In previous years Cadbury's introduced their Treasure Eggs, which are wrapped in foil and have no cardboard box. Reducing plastic by 78% and using 65% less cardboard than a standard egg. They have also reduced the amount of plastic casing in small and medium sized Easter eggs, saving 202 tonnes of plastic (which is the equivalent of 4.8m PET bottles).
Marks and Spencer, Mars and Sainsbury's are also among the other companies that have made changes to their Easter Egg Packaging.
So, it seems that retailers, brand and manufacturers have been listening and are making changes. Now it's up to us! As a consumer you have the power to choose what products you take home. From the examples above we can see that it's now easier than it's ever been to opt for an eco-egg.
With less packaging than ever before, you can now fit more in your shopping bags - perfect excuse for an Easter egg hunt!
Shopping with the knowledge of what can be recycled in your area can help you to reduce your waste. Visit the recycling locator to find out what you can recycle near you.
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* Figure taken from a recent consumer poll, Packaging in Perspective, prepared by the Advisory Committee on Packaging and supported by INCPEN, the Packaging Federation and Valpak