'Egg'traordinary Easter Recycling Facts!

Well, here’s hoping you’re not feeling too sick of chocolate when you’re reading this, with around 90 million Easter eggs sold each year in the UK it seems we’re all a bit partial – if not totally addicted to munching on some chocolate yumminess.

Easter egg foil

The best way to recycle Easter egg foil is to scrunch the foil up into a fist-sized ball before placing it in the recycling bin. This makes sure the small bits of foil don’t get lost in the recycling process.

If it’s got chocolate on it, rinse it off first and if it's still too dirty then it's better in the waste bin.

Cardboard boxes

The cardboard boxes that package the eggs, along with any other boxes, can be placed in your recycle box for recycling. Collapsing the boxes first helps leave room in your bin for more recycling.

Hot cross bun bags

There’s one question to ask when it comes to recycling plastic – ‘does it hold its shape?’ The golden rule is, if it holds its shape when crumpled then it can be placed in the recycling bin.

That means plastic bags are a no-no, as are other soft plastics like bread bags and hot cross bun bags.

Easter Packaging Facts

Here is a collection of striking packaging facts related to Easter eggs and the packaging they generate.

It is estimated that between 80 and 90 million chocolate eggs are eaten each year in Britain (depending on which source you believe).

Almost two thirds – 59% – of British adults said that they thought Easter eggs are over-packaged and believe brands should take steps to reduce packaging.

The plastic and cardboard packaging typically accounts for over a quarter of total product weight in many of the UK’s best-selling chocolate eggs. This can mean that on average only 38% of an Easter egg box (by volume) is taken up by the chocolate itself

A Which? Survey, conducted in 2018, discovered 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, 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.

The UK’s Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that the UK will discard around 3,000 tonnes of packaging each year (based on sales in 2016).

This 3,000 tonnes of waste would take 400 large lorries to transport to landfill or (hopefully) recycling centres.

And if this 3,000 tonnes of waste were recycled, it would save 1,170,000kWh of energy. This is enough to boil 182,813 (hens) eggs.

In total, the UK produces approximately 11.5m tonnes of packaging waste every year (with a high percentage of this being food and drink packaging).

What this means, however, is that Easter egg packaging actually contributes a very small percentage of the overall UK domestic (i.e. household) packaging at only 0.266%.

  • Approximately 90 million chocolate eggs are sold annually in the UK

  • More than 8,000 tonnes of waste is generated from Easter egg packaging and Easter cards

  • Over 20 million cards given around Easter time

  • Easter chocolate sales make up 10% of Britain’s annual spending on chocolate

We think that will do for some Easter recycling facts this year. Let's all try to remember to recycle responsibly this weekend and separate all your plastics and card. Together we will all see a world where recycling just works!

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