Thorntons cuts Easter egg packaging weight

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Efforts by industry to slash Easter egg packaging continue with UK confectioner Thorntons announcing savings of 22 per cent across its core product range.

The firm said packaging reduction figures for its Easter 2009 range will equate to 73 tons of packaging waste saved.

"We have managed to reduce our packaging by changing pack sizes, reducing material thickness and where possible removing components altogether,"​ said Peter Wright, Thorntons marketing director.

Consumer and industry attention is increasingly turning to sustainability and crucially, how packaging can contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

Nestlé UK has a target to reduce packaging by 10 per cent by 2010, against a 2006 baseline. And earlier this week the confectionery giant announced its decision to swap from plastic casing around Easter eggs to cardboard, resulting in a 30 per cent reduction in the weight of packaging for the affected products.

The global number one food and drink firm said changes to its Easter egg packaging had "resulted in over 700 tonnes less waste being sent to landfill."

Nine per cent reduction on milk chocolate egg

Thorntons, along with other UK food firms that includes Cadbury, Coca Cola and Kellogg's, is a signatory to the Waste & Resources Action Programme's (WRAP) Courtauld Commitment, a best-practice initiative that seeks to slash waste in both packaging and food.

In terms of 2009, the 22 per cent reduction across Thornton's core product range "is most noticeable when comparing like-for-like products,"​ said the UK firm.

For the Thorntons 180g milk chocolate Easter egg, in 2008 the packaging weight totalled 54 tonnes, by comparison weight for the 2009 version has been reduced to 49 tonnes, equating to a 9 per cent reduction on one product line.

Looking ahead to next year, Thorntons' marketing director said its "objective for the Easter 2010 range is to reduce the overall package tonnage by a further 10 per cent."

A boost to recycled materials and awareness

The company introduced a three step initiative for its seasonal lines that the firm said aims to reduce packaging costs and weights, to source sustainable materials and 'enhance' its recycling labelling on pack.

For Easter 2009, all Thorntons egg cartons have been produced from FSC certified cardboard and biodegradable film has been used for twist-wrapped treat eggs.

According to the Derbyshire-based firm, all plastic formers contain a minimum 50 per cent recycled material: plastic cartons, for example, for their 'Love Fudge' and 'Love Toffee' brands are now made from 80 per cent recycled plastic.

In a bit to alleviate consumer confusion over what can, and cannot, be recycled the chocolate and toffee maker has labelled its Easter egg packages with 'simple symbols' to inform the customer what each component is made of and if it can be recycled.

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