The End of Egg-cessive Easter Waste??
Easter Sunday 31st March
2011-12 Easter Packaging News
Last year, Nestle became the first major confectioner to introduce 100% recyclable packaging across its entire range. They also replaced all plastics with FSC approved carboard and compostable film, resulting in a 30% (48 tonne) reduction in packaging across the mug egg range:
WRAP information sheet, compiled in January 2011:
Easter Egg Packaging Facts
• Each year, more than 8,000 tonnes of waste is generated just from Easter egg packaging and cards alone.
• One study found that the packaging around one particular egg weighs just as much as the confectionary itself and Oxfam reports that on average, 200g of chocolate egg comes with 54g of card and 2g of foil.
• Approximately 80 million chocolate eggs are sold in the UK at Easter which generates around 4,370 tonnes of card and 160 tonnes of foil waste. Most of the plastic packaging used is not recyclable yet, which means it will end up in landfills.
• About 10 million cards are sent and received.
• Every Easter more than £299m is spent on chocolate in the UK - equivalent to 139 million egg shells weighing 200 grams and if all 139 million shell eggs were encased in carton packaging they would use a staggering 9,391.8 sq miles of board.
• Easter is the biggest chocolate-selling period of the year after Christmas.
• Cadbury's foil wrapped eco Easter Eggs, which were on sale in selected outlets in 2008 as a trial, won the Best Green Packaging Award. The eggs were displayed on special retail ready display shelves, as they were supplied without the usual card packaging. Who’s doing there bit to help reduce packaging on Eggs?
Examples of Easter egg packaging reductions made in 2009 by retailers, brands and manufacturers:
• Cadbury UK delivered a 25% reduction in packaging across medium shell eggs resulting in 220 tonnes less plastic, 250 tonnes less carton board and an additional 90 tonnes less transit / display packaging. Cadbury also made significant savings on its large shell egg range where it delivered a 36% reduction in packaging, reducing plastic by 108 tonnes, cartonboard by 65 tonnes and corrugated cardboard by 44 tonnes. Cadbury UK also released its unboxed range, Eco eggs.
• Marks & Spencer reduced Easter egg packaging by almost 30% and is using its highest ever percentage of recycled materials. The ‘Max the Bunny’ egg has seen packaging reduced by 90% by replacing the plastic drum packaging with a light weight printed plastic film. Over 85% of packaging across the M&S Easter range is recyclable and 68% of all plastic used contains recycled materials, reducing the need to use virgin oil plastic.
• Mars, achieved a 42% reduction in cardboard weight and reduced the amount of plastic used. All remaining Easter egg packaging is now 100% recycled cardboard and carries advice to consumers on how and where to dispose of the packaging.
• Nestlé UK removed plastic packaging from the vast majority (80%) of its Easter egg range, making them easier for consumers to recycle. The company has reduced the packaging of its entire range by 30%, saving at least 700 tonnes of waste. All small and medium eggs will now come in a cardboard package, which can easily be recycled, and carry advice to help consumers recycle on the back of boxes.
• Over the past few years, Sainsbury’s has increased recycled content across the Taste the Difference boxed egg from 0% to a minimum of 75%. Overall, packaging on the showcase Taste the Difference egg has been reduced by 55% and packaging across the whole range has reduced by 37%. All of Sainsbury’s boxed egg packaging is now 100% recyclable.
• Nestle UK has also removed the plastic wrappers from the white chocolate drops and sweets inside the new Milkybar Shaker Egg and Smarties Shaker Egg.
• Kit Kat Chunky, Aero, Smarties and Rolo medium eggs will also contain 25% less packaging and include on-pack recycling information that is clear and easy for children to understand.
Instead of sending people shop-bought cards (make sure it’s made from recycled paper if you do), you could make one yourself, or even send an amusing e-card.
To help cut down on fossil fuels, walk somewhere instead of driving. The springtime is a beautiful, refreshing time to be outdoors. So enjoy it! This is what we’re all supposed to be celebrating after all.
How to make traditional hand-painted Easter eggs:
1. Make a hole at the top and bottom of a large, free range egg
2. Carefully blow out the contents.
3. Allow the eggshell to dry
4. Gently decorate it with brightly coloured paints or felt-tips
5. Add some glitter or recycled ribbons – whatever you can ‘lay’ your hands on.
Alternatively, you can hard boil the eggs. To save time painting them, add some food colouring to the water. Add the extra decorations when they have cooled down.
Here’s a fun way to re-use the plastic shell you get with your Easter egg as a mould and create endless eggs to give away.
1. Cover the plastic packaging shell from a shop-bought Easter egg in petroleum jelly
2. Rip up bits of old newspapers and soak them in a paste and water solution
3. Apply a layer of paper over the egg mould and leave until almost dry
4. Add another six layers in the same way – you may prefer to use white or coloured paper for the final layer
5. Leave the mould to dry out completely for a day or two
6. Carefully pull the mould away from the papier mache egg and decorate it
7. Place a little bundle of organic chocolates wrapped in scrap material inside the egg
8. Present it with a pretty ribbon that can be reused.