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Swinson: Excess packaging around Easter Eggs leaves bitter taste in the mouth

March 30, 2018 8:00 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Jo Swinson speaking at Lib Dem conference.

Swinson's report, which outlines the use of plastics by all major Easter egg manufacturers, highlights the need for companies to cut down the use of plastics to protect our oceans and reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic waste ending up in landfills.

Key findings of the report:

• According to recent figures, 147.7 million hollow Easter Eggs are sold each year.
An average Easter Egg box as found in this report contains 22 grams of plastic packaging, so this could mean over 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year from hollow Easter Eggs alone.

• Around one-quarter of the weight of the average Easter Egg comes from packaging. This has not improved since Jo's previous report in 2012.

• 5 of the 9 brands investigated used a substantial amount of plastic (>30g) in packaging their Eggs. Many local authorities do not offer kerbside collections, meaning that significant amounts of plastic from Easter Egg packaging could end up in landfill or the ocean.

• The worst chocolate to packaging weight ratio was Lindt (chocolate to packaging ratio of almost 2:1), and the best was Green & Black's (chocolate to packaging ratio of almost 5:1).

• Lindt was the worst offender this year in terms of excess packaging on Easter Eggs; with the Egg itself taking up less than one-sixth of the total size of the box, and the packaging accounting for over 36% of the total weight.

• This year's winner was Green & Black's. Packaging accounted for 18% of the total weight, and the size of packaging was relatively small compared to the size of the Egg (which took up more than 41% of space in the box).

Commenting on the results, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:

"Millions of us watched Blue Planet last year and witnessed the shocking levels of plastic waste in our oceans. None of us want the packaging from our tasty Easter treats to contribute to ocean pollution.

"It is disappointing that Easter Egg manufacturers have not been more proactive in reducing levels of plastic in their packaging, so I am calling on them to pledge to eliminate plastic in next year's Easter Eggs. If manufacturers truly want to cut the use of plastics they must sacrifice the presentation of their Eggs for the presentation of their values.

"The plastic waste associated with Easter eggs is symptomatic of a much wider problem across consumer industries, where companies could and should be doing more to combat plastic waste. Our oceans are precious - we all need to do our bit to help preserve them."

Download the full report here