Easter egg firms still failing to crack plastic-free packaging

Too many Easter eggs still contain unnecessary plastic packaging – despite huge public concern about the impact of plastic pollution on wildlife and our environment.
  Published:  20 Mar 2018    |      4 minute read

Friends of the Earth found examples of Easter eggs made by leading brands, including Cadbury, Mars, Lindt and Thorntons that use plastic packaging [1].

Easter egg packaging can be plastic-free, and some firms are making efforts to cut plastic waste.

Nestlé says around half of its Easter eggs contain no plastic at all, and some of its eggs carry logos saying “No plastic – Easier to recycle”.

Mondelez, parent company of Green & Black’s and Cadbury didn’t reveal how many of their eggs were plastic-free, but said: “The foil wrapper and carton board used for our Easter eggs are plastic free, but to be fully transparent our Easter eggs typically contain other products in their original packaging, that may include plastic flow-wrap.”

Friends of the Earth is calling on Easter egg manufacturers to commit to all their Easter eggs being free from plastic packaging by 2019. The public can also take part by signing an online petition [2].

Friends of the Earth plastic-free campaigner Julian Kirby said:

“With huge public concern about the impact of plastic pollution on our environment and wildlife, it’s astonishing that so many Easter eggs still use unnecessary plastic packaging.

“Some Easter eggs don’t use plastic packaging, with some even labelled as not using plastic. So watch your waste if you’re shelling out on an Easter egg this year and choose one that’s plastic-free.

“We need to rapidly phase-out all but the safest and most essential plastics – Easter egg firms should play their part by pledging to make sure all their eggs use plastic-free packaging next year.”

Thousands of people are already taking part in Friends of the Earth’s #PlasticFreeFriday [3].

Leading Easter egg manufacturers were contacted to ask how many of their eggs use plastic-free packaging, and whether they would commit to making all their Easter egg packaging plastic-free next year. Not all responded. See below [4] for full list of responses received.

Notes to editors

  1. Friends of the Earth found a number of examples of Easter eggs which use plastic packaging, including:
  • Maltesers Teasers (Mars)
  • Lindt Gold Bunny
  • Thorntons Classic Collection
  • Cadbury mini eggs (with shell Easter egg and mug)
  • Godiva Easter Collection
  • Moo Free Original Organic Egg
  • Cadbury also sells an Easter-themed plastic egg containing packets of mini eggs
  1. Tell Easter egg manufacturers to go plastic free: https://act.friendsoftheearth.uk/act/tell-easter-egg-manufacturers-go-plastic-free
  2. #PlasticFreeFriday: Sign up to get tips on going plastic free and to take part here: https://act.friendsoftheearth.uk/act/join-plasticfreefriday#<https://act.friendsoftheearth.uk/act/join-plasticfreefriday
  3. Friends of the Earth contacted leading Easter egg manufacturers to ask how many of their Easter eggs use plastic-free packaging, and whether they would commit to making all their Easter egg packaging plastic-free next year. Not all responded.

Nestlé:

We have worked very hard to minimise plastic in our Easter range.

Around half of our Easter eggs contain no plastic at all. Since 2006 we have removed 726 tonnes of plastic from across the range to enable the packaging to be easier to recycle.

Of the Easter products that do contain plastic, this is limited to acetate film windows which are fully home-compostable and then the regular product bars themselves which are included separately. These have wrappers containing plastic and this is something we continue to work on.

We are committed to ensuring the safety and quality of our products to consumers, and plastic plays currently an important role in that. However, we are focused on improving the design of our packaging for easier recycling, and will use alternatives where possible.

Mondelez International, owner of Cadbury:

Mondelez, parent company of Green & Black’s and Cadbury, makes a committed effort as a brand to make sustainable decisions while also making products that are delivered fresh and maintain our high quality standards.

Our packaging is designed to protect the products, particularly fragile shell eggs, and thereby reduce damage and food waste – which has a higher environmental impact than packaging.

All Green & Black’s and Cadbury shell eggs are packed in a foil wrapper within a carton-board box that minimizes the risk of breakage.

We have committed to reducing 65 thousand tonnes for packaging by 2020 and we are firmly on track to exceed this goal.

The carton board we use on our shell eggs does not contain a plastic coating.

The foil wrapper and carton board used for our Easter eggs are plastic free, but to be fully transparent our Easter eggs typically contain other products in their original packaging, that may include plastic flow-wrap.

Mars:

The sustainability of our packaging is a continued focus here at Mars and that’s why at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, we were one of 11 companies to commit to working towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier.

Our chocolate packaging lets us provide our consumers the products they love in a safe and sustainable way. We are dedicated to continually evolving our packaging goals to make sure they pave the best way to efficiency and sustainability. Looking ahead, we are focusing on reducing waste and reducing carbon — two areas with the most significant impact for packaging.

Mars Wrigley Confectionery wrappers are made of primarily polypropylene and this is used across a variety of products.

Lindt:

Packaging is a very important part of the supply chain at Lindt & Sprüngli. The components used, have to fulfill different packaging functions.

On the one hand, it ensures the hygienic condition of our premium chocolate products and protects them from external influences such as undesirable odors, light and temperature changes during transportation and in-store.

On the other hand, the packaging helps to present our products in a very appealing way while complying with national and international regulations.

As it is for all our raw materials, we take our responsibility towards the environment extremely seriously and make sustainability a priority also for our packaging. We therefore see it as our permanent duty to consider, and wherever possible also realize, any potential improvement to our packaging.

Where our quality standards permit, we use recyclable, reusable and biodegradable materials. All our products have relevant recycling symbols on them to advise the consumer.

When sourcing our packaging materials, we try wherever possible to source from suppliers located close to our production sites. This helps to avoid long transportation routes and high emission levels.

Our recently published Sustainability Report shows the progress of our commitment towards reducing waste and increasing the recycling rate in our production.

Our future focus will extend to packaging material waste. In 2017 for example, Lindt & Sprüngli reduced waste in our Swiss production facility by more than 70 tons. Please find our sustainability report here: http://www.lindt-spruengli.com/fileadmin/user_upload/corporate/user_upload/Medias/Publications/Sustainability/Sustainability_Report_2017_ENG.pdf

Thorntons:

Didn’t respond.