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Reduced packaging egg set for Easter launch

By Charlotte Eyre , 19-Feb-2008

Cadbury Schweppes is trialling an unboxed chocolate egg in the UK this Easter, after consumers called for the company to be more environmentally friendly and use less packaging.

Last summer the company launched the 'Purple Goes Green' programme, which is aimed at reducing 30 per cent of its carbon emissions by 2020. Cadbury spokesperson Tony Billsborough told ConfectioneryNews.com that the new foil-wrapped eggs will be sold under the Mini Eggs, Dairy Milk and Dairy Milk Caramel. The only other packaging involved will be the cardboard moulded casing used to stand the eggs upright on the shelves, he said. What's more, the new eco-friendly eggs are all made and sold in the same country, he added. According to Billsborough, between two and three million of these eggs have been made this year, around 10 per cent of all the Easter eggs that are made for the UK market. "This is a test, so that is the initial number of eggs made," he said. "Future plans for the products depend on the consumers, who will have to vote with their pocket." Cadbury also stressed that it has taken great care to ensure that the product complies with all safety regulations, and that it will arrive on retail shelves in good condition. "Consumers may have to take more care when transporting the product, but that can be said for any fragile food," Billsborough said. The confectionery giant has previously been praised for its environmental concerns, and last September Cadbury was named top of the class for the actions it has taken against climate change. The Carbon Disclosure Project, which compiled the list, said that Cadbury was one of the first major food and drink manufacturers to commit to cutting down on its use of energy, packaging and water. However, the company's environmentaly policy was later attacked when it announced the closure of a UK manufacturing plant to move manufacturing to Poland. Unite Union accused Cadbury of adding millions of food miles to its products, claiming that 98 per cent of the group's products that were previously made at the UK Somerdale plant, which will be closed this year, are sold within the same country. Brian Revell, Unite national organiser for food and agriculture, accused Cadbury of ignoring "powerful environmental arguments by adding food miles to well known products," claiming that once produced in Poland, these chocolate bars will then be transported back to the UK.

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