Two basic principles will help eliminate Easter egg packaging waste being landfilled or being burnt:
- Dispose of packaging in the correct recycling bin
- Make sure contamination doesn’t find its way into recycling streams By separating foil, plastic and cardboard, residents can help make sure that materials intended for recycling actually end up being recycled, rather than being burnt for energy or even landfilled. In the case of any uncertainty over the best way to recycle, residents are urged to contact their local authority or visit www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with for specific guidelines relating to their where they live.
As a nation, we spend more than £220 million a year on Easter eggs – an astonishing 10% of the UK’s total confectionery sales. However, with the typical 200g chocolate egg housed in 56g of packaging, maximising the recyclability of that packaging must be a key priority.
All of us share the responsibility of protecting the environment. Fortunately, small changes can make a big difference. While we as consumers play our part by making sure we recycle well at home, the supply chain continues to make great strides in minimising unnecessary Easter packaging waste. Nestlé, for example, guarantees 100% recyclable packaging across its range.
I know the confectionery industry is working with the packaging industry to reduce the amount of packaging used to get Easter eggs onto retailer shelves and into our homes – large parts of the sector are working with DS Smith Packaging on achieving this.
As a recycling industry, we have to work with manufacturers and local authorities to make sure that packaging is easily recycled in our homes, and that the infrastructure is in place to deliver quality recycling collections. At Easter, we are fortunate that paper and card has the highest recycling rates of any packaging material – meaning that we can be confident that the card used to package our Easter eggs can easily find its way into recycling streams.
The challenge for local authorities, and for us, lies in ensuring that all that card is collected in streams that help support quality materials for the recycling process.
The DS Smith Group is a producer of sustainable packaging, and its recycling division is a specialist in cardboard and paper recycling, managing 5.4 million tonnes of fibre every year. dssmith.com/recycling