Seasonal Waste Reduction Tips

Easter

Seasonal Tips for Easter

In the UK we buy more than 80 million boxed chocolate eggs each year at Easter, generating 4,370 tonnes of card waste and costing around £299 million. If you want to save money or produce less waste this year, here are some top tips for a greener Easter.

Recycle your wrapper 160 tonnes of foil waste are produced every Easter, so when you've polished off your eggs scrunch all the foil up together in a big ball and take to your nearest Household Recycling Centre where they have foil collection bins.

Shop smart and choose a less packaged egg As much as a third of the weight of an Easter egg is in the packaging. So don't be fooled by a big box, take a look at the guide below which was done by Which? magazine showing which eggs give the most chocolate for your money.

What's for lunch? If you're looking for something cheaper, tastier and more environmentally friendly than lamb ask your butcher or meat counter if they have Hogget (lamb over 1-year-old) or mutton (lamb over 2 years).

Leftover chocolate fondue  Don't let any chocolate go to waste! Once you're sick of eating Easter eggs, do a DIY fondue by melting any leftover chocolate in a pan/the microwave. Dip in fruit or marshmallows.

Driving home for Easter  Many people hit the road over the Bank Holidays, so why not share a ride? Put a shout out on social media to see if friends are driving in the same direction as you, or pretend to be the star of Carpool Karaoke and car share with strangers using sites like BlaBlaCar or Go Car Share.

Make your own chocolate eggs  Avoid the chocolate egg packaging altogether by making your own. Gram for gram eggs are up to 73% more expensive than the same chocolate when sold in bars, so make your own and have twice as much! Getting creative with an egg mould means you can make personalised eggs.

Homemade Hot Cross Buns The Hot Cross bun is an Easter staple. With supermarket bun prices set to soar due to a global raisin shortage, there's never been a better time to make your own and save money, packaging and the need to leave your house.

Which? report into Easter egg packaging:

Packaging alone accounts for up to a quarter, on average, of the total weight of the most popular Easter eggs on sale on the High Street, new research by a consumer group has revealed.

The worst offender in the top 10 best-selling branded eggs analysed by Which? was Thorntons’ Classic Large Egg, where the cardboard box and plastic make up more than a third (36.4%) of the product’s weight.

Which? compared the eggs by weighing their packaging as well as chocolate contents to find out the proportion of cardboard, plastic and foil in each – as well as assessing their recyclability.

The second-worst was Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Egg that has a packaging weight percentage of 28.1%, while Mars’s Milk Chocolate Easter Egg and Chocolate Bar and Cadbury’s Creme Giant Egg both weighed in at just above the 25% average at 25.5% and 25.1% respectively.

For many years chocolate eggs made headlines for the volume of packaging which ended up in landfill at Easter, with manufacturers and retailers criticised for not doing more to reduce it and make it more recyclable.

But Which? said industry improvements in both areas had now paid off, with almost all of the packaging from the eggs in this study recyclable. The only elements that could not be recycled were chocolate bar wrappers and plastic windows.

The Which? survey found that Cadbury’s Twirl Large Easter Egg had the least packaging of the 10, accounting for just 18.8 % of the total weight. It is packed almost entirely in cardboard meaning that most of it can be recycled. Only the two chocolate bar wrappers in the package, together weighing less than a gram, can’t go in the recycling bin.

From plastic to cardboard, the bulk can be collected as part of the kerbside collection service, the survey said. The plastic that comes with Easter eggs is usually PET 1, the same type of plastic that bottles are made of and easily recycled by 99% of local authorities. Foil is also recyclable;

Recycle Now (link opens in a new window), the national recycling campaign for England, recommends cleaning it and scrunching it into a ball.  Foil can't be recycled in the green bins, but can be taken to a Household Recycling Centre where there are bins for foil.

Links

Which (link opens in a new window)
BlaBlaCar Carpooling (link opens in a new window)
GoCarShare (link opens in a new window)
Recyclenow (link opens in a new window)