Be honest – how much waste have your Easter eggs created today? It’s easy to get lured by the big boxes, but they contribute to thousands of tonnes of waste every year, so shouldn’t we be finding fuss-free treats?
Earlier this week Richard Dilks revealed the best and worst examples of supermarket packaging, and highlighted Easter eggs as a product that’s fast improving.
Cadburys has introduced boxless eggs, and judging by the 75% increase in sales, people aren’t sorry to see the back of them. Plus, there’s been no increase in breakages compared to boxed eggs, which will hopefully encourage other reluctant manufacturers to understand that less can be more.
Reducing egg waste – a potted history
So why the turnaround? In 2006, Wrap set up the Seasonal Confectionary Working Group (made up of leading confectionary brands, manufacturers and retailers) and aimed at reducing packaging on seasonal sweets.
Easter eggs came out top of the list in their 2008 poll on ‘public attitudes to packaging’, so they decided it was time to sweeten our perception. Since then, Cadbury has reduced packaging on its medium-sized eggs by 25%, resulting in 220 tonnes less plastic and 250 tonnes less card.
I don’t know about you, but I’m staggered that this amount of waste can be generated by a quarter of the packaging on medium-sized Cadburys’ eggs alone. Sadly, it’s more than feasible when you look at the total waste generated by chocolate egg packaging – a whopping 3,000 tonnes a year and that’s in the UK alone.
Ditch the egg-stras
So there’s clearly a long way still to go, as a quick look around the Easter egg shop displays proves. But why is it such a slow process? Do some egg-eaters still feel a bit short changed by an egg that doesn’t come in a grand box? Maybe manufacturers can’t justify the hefty price tags unless all the little egg-stras (sorry) are displayed in a deluxe plastic case?
So here’s my suggestion… let’s all vow to make our egg choices based on the packaging (or lack of) from now on. Don’t be swayed by big, fancy boxes or enticed by all the little extras. Then it will only be our waists, not our waste, that we’ll have to feel guilty about next year.