It’s estimated that 80 million Easter eggs are sold each year in the UK alone. Whilst we all love tucking into all that lovely chocolate on Easter Sunday, spare a thought for the environment! All that packaging needs to be recycled properly, so that we can enjoy all that yummy chocolate without contributing to landfill sites that harm the environment.
Easter egg packaging generates around 3,000 tonnes of waste each year, according to the government’s waste advisory body WRAP. Manufacturers have made a concerted effort to reduce the packaging, with Nestle in particular making great strides to remove 175 tonnes from it’s Easter egg range. But many others have reached a point where any further reductions could create further waste by causing damage to the eggs.
In a bid to increase recycling of Easter egg packaging, Sainsbury’s have become the first supermarket to try out a dedicated recycling facility for the packaging. Customers can return to the store and separate the various different types of packaging, including the foil wrapped around the eggs into a facility that’s the first of it’s kind.
It’s a positive step by Sainsbury’s and is available in 50 of it’s stores, with plans to roll it out nationally next year. Head of Susainability, Engineering, Energy and Environment at Sainsbury’s Paul Crewe told the Guardian, the “Easter egg recycling bin helps at a busy time when there might be an increase in household waste that can be put to positive use – particularly as it allows for materials like rigid plastic which might not be universally accepted elsewhere.”
Sainsbury’s move has met with widespread support, with the chair of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) Andrew Bird saying that the supermarket’s actions were a good example of a retailer “taking a circular economy approach.”
Mr Bird told letsrecycle.com, “the more retailers can do in helping to close the loop the better.”
“Everyone has a stake in the circular economy we have to work with retailers and push waste prevention.”
Behaviour Change Manager at WRAP, Rachel Gray, was also delighted to see a leading retailer taking the problem seriously. She said, “we are delighted that Sainsbury’s are working with their customers to help them find ways to recycle Easter egg packaging during the holidays.”
She added that much of the packaging used in the production of Easter eggs could be recycled, “from the foil that your chocolate egg comes in to your Easter egg box.”
The Easter egg scheme follows Sainsbury’s successful Christmas card recycling initiative, which saw 1.2 million cards recycled last year.
The waste materials that are collected will be recycled and all the proceeds from the recycled material will be donated to the Forestry Stewardship Council UK to help maintain woodland areas.
As a committed recycling business, we’re delighted to see a retailer the size of Sainsbury’s doing something about the amount of waste packaging created by Easter eggs.
If you decide over the Easter break that your home or office needs a clear out of its electrical items, give us a ring on 01925 242 223.