Seasonal Waste Reduction

Easter, like Christmas, seems to be a time of giving, eating and chocolate!  

If you want to save money or produce less waste this year, here are some top tips for a greener Easter

Eggs….eggs…more eggs…..

59% of UK adults believe Easter packaging is excessive. And with between 80 and 90 million Easter eggs eaten each year, this is a growing issue. In fact, more than 8,000 tonnes of packaging waste is generated each Easter. But brands are now reducing packs sizes, removing plastics, and switching to sustainable materials.

The average child in the UK will receive just under 9 Easter eggs each!  As such, Easter chocolate sales make up 10 per cent of Britain’s annual spending on chocolate. It is in fact the biggest chocolate-selling period of the year after Christmas.

  • 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 you can put it in the scrap metal container.  Some charities collect foil too.
  • Shop smart and choose a less packaged egg: As much as a third of the weight of an Easter egg is in the packaging. A Which? Survey, conducted in 2018, suggested that Cadbury’s Twirl Large Easter Egg had the least packaging of the major brands (accounting for 18.8 % of the total weight).  In contrast, the Thornton’s’ Classic Large Egg was the most over-packaged.  The cardboard box and plastic accounted for more than a third (36.4%) of the product’s weight.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Recycle your box: From plastic to cardboard, the bulk can be put into your green recycling bin. The plastic that comes with Easter eggs is usually PET 1, the same type of plastic that bottles are made of and easily recycled. 

Food, glorious food

  • 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). 
  • Store your foods appropriately to keep them fresher for longer. Follow on packaging advice on storage when possible. Here is some advice on how to store other foods or foods without packaging 
  • There are several apps available to help you keep track of the use by and best before dates on your foods with a reminder and some will also suggest recipes based on what you have in stock.
  • Knowing the difference between best before and use by dates means you aren’t wasting more food than you need to and you aren’t taking any unnecessary chances with your health. 
  • Make good use of your fridge and freezer by making sure they are set at the right temperature. 
  • Make sure you are making the most of your freezer by knowing what you can / can’t freeze, how long items can be frozen for, and how to prevent issues like freezer burn. 
  • Meal planning and portioning is a good way of minimising waste and making the most of the foods we have available to us. Here is a handy portion planner
  • You can compost many types of uncooked food waste. Residents in Worcestershire can purchase a compost bin at a discounted rate.
  • Find out information on what you can and can’t compost at home 

Just so you know, potatoes, chicken and carrots are all in the top ten most commonly wasted foods in the UK. If you are planning a roast dinner for your Easter meal it’s worth paying special attention to these foods.