With Easter around the corner, many of us are stocking up on chocolate eggs and other goodies. In fact, it is one of the most popular times for Britons to purchase chocolate, with 10 per cent of the nation’s annual spending taking place during Easter. More than 80 million chocolate eggs are sold every year in the UK, and that figure continues to rise, with confectionary sales up 8.6 per cent during Easter 2015, compared to the year before.
However, with the growth in Easter egg consumption comes an increase in packaging waste. According to the government’s waste advisory body, Wrap, Easter eggs generate approximately 3,000 tonnes of waste each year. The Easter Egg Packaging survey in 2012 discovered that only 38 per cent of the average Easter egg package actually consists of the chocolate egg; the rest is largely made up of plastic used in the packaging.
For years now, retailers have been working to improve their Easter packaging to reduce the amount of paper and plastic used. In 2014, Sainsbury’s became the first UK retailer to offer 100% recyclable Easter egg packaging, and a dedicated recycling facility in stores for recycling all elements of their packaging waste, from plastic, film and card, to foil and ribbon.
Get cracking with the plastic recycling
While Easter is a great occasion for spending time with the family, it is important that we all play our part to show care for the environment. As plastic recycling specialists, Plasgran champions the recycling of plastic, where possible, to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and to minimise our impact on the environment.
Thanks to advancements in technology, many types of plastic can now be recycled. Plasgran has invested in a purpose-built facility with the latest equipment that can reprocess just about any type of plastic. For more information on the types of plastic that can be recycled, see the Plasgran guide to the 7 plastic recycling grades (see picture).
94% of UK local authorities offer collection facilities for plastic bottles, either through household collection or at recycling centres. Around half of local councils collect other rigid plastic packaging, including pots, tubs and trays. You can use this recycling locator to find out the types of plastics that your council collects.
Other ways to reduce plastic waste this Easter
Choose minimal packaging
Attractive packaging can make an Easter egg look more appealing, but excessive layers of foil, plastic and paper end up as packaging waste. These elements should ideally be recycled; if not, they end up in landfills and contribute to the pollution of the environment.
Make your own Easter eggs
Not only is this a greener option, it could also be more economical, plus parents can turn this into a fun activity for their children and get them involved in making the chocolate eggs. They are not difficult to do and recipes can be found all over the Internet, such as on BBC Food.
Skip the Easter card
Instead of sending out paper cards – especially metallic ones that may not be widely recycled – why not send an electronic card? There are lots of websites for sending free e-cards, such as 123Greetings and Blue Mountain.
Reuse your plastic eggs
Leftover plastic Easter eggs do not have to end up as waste – they can be transformed into all kinds of new items. The Internet is a wonderful source of inspiration for creative ideas. For example, this article illustrates 36 ways to upcycle your Easter eggs, turning them into a host of new items, from planters to tea lights (pictured below).
For more information about plastic recycling for businesses, please visit www.plasgranltd.co.uk.