Hunting For A Solution To Excessive Easter Eggs Packaging

Hunting For A Solution To Excessive Easter Eggs Packaging Shutterstock

So which Easter tradition came first? The packaging or the egg? The answer is of course not that surprising (it’s the egg). The tradition of giving people eggs at spring time has roots in ancient pagan festivals and exists in the history of a range of religions.

It is only in recent decades that the amount of packaging around a hollow chocolate egg has become a noticeable problem – partly because of a rise in the number of eggs sold. It’s true that some manufactures have made progress in reducing packaging, with a big focus on reducing plastics. Many popular eggs are wrapped in just a layer of foil and a card box (plus any wrappers that come on accompanying confectionary). But this does not mean the problem has gone away.

A report by Which? revealed that around a quarter of the total weight of Easter eggs sold in the UK is taken up by the plastic and cardboard packaging they are wrapped up in. The outer packaging of one of the top-ten selling brands tipped the scales at 152g of a 418g product (36.4%).

According to the environmental charity Friends of the Earth, Easter egg makers are still failing when it comes to plastic waste. This leads to some 3,000 tonnes of packaging waste each year. But it is too easy to blame the manufacturer – after all, we buy the eggs.

And the packaging does play some role in protecting the chocolate from damage and contamination – otherwise you may end up with food waste (which is actually far worse).

Hunting For A Solution To Excessive Easter Eggs Packaging Egging on consumers. Shutterstock

We appear to be at a stalemate – manufactures do not want to change the big, bright packaging in fear of losing sales. Customers still want to present their friend or relative with a pristine, attractive, traditional gift.

Breaking with tradition

So how can food providers and consumers help to reduce packaging waste? Here are a few options (although some may not be so sweet).

  1. Make the eggs flat. A two dimensional egg can be packaged far more easily and is less prone to damage than a 3D egg which requires additional packaging to protect those thin chocolate walls around a hollow space. Flat eggs could be made just as attractive and would certainly taste the same. They would also improve logistics efficiency by not having to transport so much air.

  2. “Build your own” Easter egg kits - packs could include everything you need to produce a bespoke egg (including two egg halves) for your loved one. There would be no need for plastic packaging and you would be giving a personalised, hand-crafted gift.

  3. Opt for cardboard and items wrapped in packaging that can be recycled – such as cardboard and foil. Typically, it is the more luxurious brands that want to show off their extravagant produce in-store who still use large amounts of plastic.

  4. Avoid getting drawn in by the additional items or “gifts” that may come with eggs. These are the kind of gifts that nobody really wants, such as a low-quality mug or plastic toy – and the negative environmental impact of producing those could be much greater than that of the chocolate egg and packaging combined. And you will pay a premium for them.

  5. Ignore chocolate this Easter and opt for something more meaningful. Regardless of your religion (or lack of), Easter is about new life, not new waistlines. Bake or make something (egg shaped if you like) that your family will really like and will mean much more to them than manufactured chocolate. And which the planet will thank you for too.

Whichever way you choose to cut down on packaging this Easter, remember that this is just one of many ways you can reduce your household waste. The world it seems is in the midst of a packaging crisis. Together we can (ahem) crack it.The Conversation

About The Author

Elliot Woolley, Lecturer in Sustainable Manufacturing, Loughborough University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Related Books

List Price: $38.99
Sale Price: $38.99 $17.12 You save: $21.87


List Price: $39.95
Sale Price: $39.95 $29.28 You save: $10.67


List Price: $49.99
Sale Price: $49.99 $35.33 You save: $14.66


enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfrdehiiditjakomsfaptruesswsvthtrurvi

LATEST VIDEOS

Siberia: The Melting Permafrost
by Arte Documentary
Russian geophysicist Sergei Zimov together with his son Nikita want to prevent the permafrost from thawing due to…
South Africa: Cities Without Water
by DW Documentaries
By the year 2050, a quarter of the every world’s cities will be facing water shortages. Cape Town is already running…
Pumped Dry: The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater
by USA TODAY
In places around the world, supplies of groundwater are rapidly vanishing. As aquifers decline and wells begin to go…
Why Climate Change Won't Be Solved Easily
by Thom Hartmann Program
Solutions for Climate Change are going to have to be much more radical and much more powerful than the solutions we…
The Counter-Intuitive Solution To Getting People To Care About Climate Change
The Counter-Intuitive Solution To Getting People To Care About Climate Change
by Kamyar Razavi
In a May episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Bill Nye the Science Guy took a blowtorch to a miniature globe.…
5 Ways To Be A Responsible Wildlife Tourist
5 Ways To Be A Responsible Wildlife Tourist
by Tracie McKinney
Imagine walking through a lush tropical forest. You hear a rustle overhead, and a half-eaten fruit plops onto the…
Climate Change Is Affecting Crop Yields And Reducing Global Food Supplies
Climate Change Is Affecting Crop Yields And Reducing Global Food Supplies
by Deepak Ray
Farmers are used to dealing with weather, but climate change is making it harder by altering temperature and rainfall…

LATEST ARTICLES

Siberia: The Melting Permafrost
by Arte Documentary
Russian geophysicist Sergei Zimov together with his son Nikita want to prevent the permafrost from thawing due to…
Refugee Corals Move To Escape Warming Seas
Refugee Corals Move To Escape Warming Seas
by U. Washington
Coral reefs are retreating from equatorial waters and establishing new reefs in more temperate regions, a new study…
How Israel Became A Leader In Water Use In The Middle East
by PBS NewsHour
Over the past few years in Israel, the country's water shortage has become a surplus. Through a combination of…
As Tundras Warm, Microbes Could Make Climate Change Worse
As Tundras Warm, Microbes Could Make Climate Change Worse
by John Toon
Rising temperatures in the tundra of the Earth’s northern latitudes could affect microbial communities in ways likely…
South Africa's Carbon Tax Matters -- For The Economy And Tackling Climate Change
South Africa's Carbon Tax Matters -- For The Economy And Tackling Climate Change
by Mmatlou Kalaba and Heinrich Bohlmann
Carbon tax is likely to be an effective way of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, which lead to climate change and…
With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System'
With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System'
by Jessica Corbett
"We can't solve the climate crisis without taking food & ag into account!"
South Africa: Cities Without Water
by DW Documentaries
By the year 2050, a quarter of the every world’s cities will be facing water shortages. Cape Town is already running…
Two Centuries Of Continuous Volcanic Eruption May Have Triggered The End Of The Ice Age
Two Centuries Of Continuous Volcanic Eruption May Have Triggered The End Of The Ice Age
by Joe McConnell
Around 25,000 years ago, during a period known as the Last Glacial Maximum, ice covered much of the world’s landmasses.