Industry tackling egg-cessive Easter waste

Easter has joined the ranks of seasonal festivals raising environmental concerns - this time over waste produced by excessive packaging on eggs.

While its impact might not have the immediate air-quality issues of Bonfire Night and may be dwarfed by the colossal waste implications of Christmas, Easter still causes a seasonal surge in waste as the packaging from millions of eggs mounts up.

Every Easter, waste from egg packaging amounts to an extra 3,000 tonnes.

According to research by the Waste & resources Action Programme (WRAP) consumers are fed up with the amount of unnecessary packaging on their eggs, with 59% of those asked saying they thought there was too much and something should be done to reduce it.

The confectionary sector seems to be responding to the demands of its customers and has, according to WRAP, made significant improvements in this area, with some cutting the packaging by more than 50%.

Mark Barthel, special advisor for WRAP, said: “With significant packaging reductions achieved across a wide range of Easter eggs this year, it’s clear the industry is listening to customers and making changes that reduce the environmental impact of packaging, while helping customers to recycle more of it.

“They are also gaining the cost benefits of materials savings and improvements in distribution efficiency.”

“With seasonal confectionery receiving criticism for excessive packaging over recent years, I’m delighted to see the sector responding so positively and collectively. Customers should see a real difference on supermarket shelves this year.”

Confectionary companies making significant waste reductions in this area include Cadbury, Mars and Nestlé with Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s leading the charge when it comes to supermarkets tackling the packaging of their home-brand eggs.

Sam Bond

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