Cadbury and Nestlé cite eco gains after packaging waste warning

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Easter egg packaging Waste management Easter Recycling

Cadbury and Nestlé say their Easter egg packaging is meeting high sustainability standards, amid calls from a UK government authority for confectioners to further reduce this seasonal packaging and ensure it is readily recyclable.

The UK’s Local Government Association (LGA), citing estimates that the UK’s 29,000 refuse workers will collect around 4,500 tonnes of Easter egg packaging this year, is urging manufacturers to make additional eco gains around Easter egg packaging in a bid to cut "the amount of waste which ends up in landfill.”

The LGA said it costs local authorities £56 per tonne to landfill waste, meaning Easter egg packaging that is not readily recyclable has “the potential to add as much as £250,000 to local government waste management costs.”

Clyde Loakes, vice chair of the LGA environment board, conceded that “Retailers and manufacturers have listened to the concerns of the public and reduced the amount of unnecessary packaging on Easter eggs.

However, over the next fortnight the UK’s 29,000 refuse collectors will each be hefting an estimated 145kgs of Easter egg packaging into dustcarts, so there is definitely still more to be done.”

He commented that while eradicating packaging entirely is not an option, minimising waste is, adding that retailers and manufacturers should ensure that all wrappers and cartons are readily recyclable.

In response to the LGA call, a spokesperson for Kraft owned Cadbury told this publication that it has been at the forefront of the packaging reduction movement in recent years, particularly when it comes to Easter egg packs.

“We have almost halved the weight of our primary and secondary packaging in the last five years, which has not only saved more than 2,000 tonnes but also reduced the number of HGV journeys by around 2,500,”​ he said.

"This year, the packaging in our large eggs has been reduced by a further 16 per cent and medium eggs by a further 13 per cent,"​ added the spokesperson.

Nestlé told ConfectioneryNews that, in the UK this year, it has reduced the amount of packaging materials used for its medium Easter eggs by a further 100 tonnes (12.6 per cent) versus 2010, in addition to savings in previous years.

“This reduction has been achieved by reducing pack sizes and using different formats such as foil wrapped hollow figures.

For example our key new launch for Easter 2011 is the Smarties Chicken and Egg which has foil packaging that is recyclable and weighs only 1.4g for a product with a weight of 117.5g,”​ said the spokesperson for Nestlé UK.

She added that the confectioner’s aim is to remove plastic inserts from all its Easter eggs by 2012.

In relation to recycling, the spokesperson said that Nestlé has been reducing the amount of packaging used through its global source reduction programme, which has been operational since the early 1990s.

“In the UK & Ireland specifically, almost 90 per cent of Nestlé’s packaging is already recyclable and we have reduced packaging by 20,000 tonnes since the start of the global packaging reduction programme,”​ she remarked.

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