Cutting back on packaging - especially for Easter

We have aimed to buy Easter gifts that use less packaging this year. Picture credit: Lin Coley

Exciting times - it's nearly Easter

It's just a few days until Easter Day which many people will be celebrating with a selection of confectionary that has been weighing down the supermarket shelves for the last few months.

But what proportion of that weight is down to the foil-wrapped chocolate delicacies and what is down to the packaging.

Well, as it turns out, there seems to have been a shift in recent years away from high levels of packaging.

Recycling options

Of course, the foil is easy to recycle and has been for many years. Providing it is clean, all you need to do is crunch it up into a ball and put it's ready to go into the relevant recycling container.

So that's the foil accounted for but what of the plastic that has often been used to help protect and display the chocolate egg. Until not so very long ago, it was difficult to do anything with it. The opportunities to recycle it were limited so much of it was just added to the landfill dustbin and taken off to a remote site, where it would take years to break down.

Foil is one of the easiest materials to recycle, so we can account for Easter wrappings. Picture credit: Lin Coley

In more recent times, as technology has advance, so it can be recycled more easily but now, there has been a greater shift towards finding alternative solutions and not using plastic at all to display the Easter eggs.

Cutting down on packaging

The Co-Op announced earlier this year that its own-brand Fairtrade brands would not use any plastic at all. 

When they announced it in February, Iain Ferguson, environment manager at Co-op, said: “Easter egg packaging is renowned for its excessive use of unnecessary plastic, whether to protect the chocolate or to display the design of the confectionery.

“Our teams have worked incredibly hard to deliver a new solution that ensures the egg is still protected whilst allowing our customers to see all the aspects of the eggs and their stunning designs. This is a really positive step within the packaging industry, especially for seasonal Easter lines."

This move has to be applauded and the Co-Op is not the only confectioner to move in that direction. Cadbury's has ditched the plastic windows in each Easter egg box. Waitrose has cut back on the plastic and cardboard used in all of its Easter egg packaging.

This is all great news as while we do want to reduce our use of plastic, it is not always easy to do so, when so much of it is wrapped around what we want to purchase, without us knowing, until we open it.

Easter celebrations don’t need to include lots of packaging. Picture credit: Unsplash

Exciting times - let's all applaud these cut backs

So, at Swizzle and friends, we would like to applaud all the chocolate manufacturers who have cut back on their plastic and cardboard packaging this year and we look forward to the trend continuing each year.

To read more about the Co-op's move to use less packaging, click here.

The Independent wrote on the same subject last year: 9 best plastic-free Easter eggs that are easy to recycle.

And in the Mirror, they highlighted Cadbury's more to reduce plastic packaging: Easter eggs to be the greenest ever as chocolate firms cut plastic packaging.

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