UK - Nestlé UK & Ireland has launched its 100% recyclable Easter egg packaging for this year, which sees the replacement of rigid plastic with cardboard in its mug eggs.
The brand owner replaced the 48 tonnes of rigid plastic used in its mug eggs with FSC approved cardboard, and used a compostable film for the windows – resulting in a 30% reduction in packaging in the mug eggs and making its entire Easter collection recyclable.
With Easter eggs creating 3,000 tonnes of UK waste each year (WRAP, Reducing Easter Packaging, 2009), Nestlé UK & Ireland says it has become the first major confectioner to remove plastic packaging from all its eggs – the culmination of a six year process that has saved 726 tonnes of plastic waste going to landfill per year, based on a comparison with the 726 tonnes of plastic used by Nestlé to make Easter egg boxes in 2008.
“Since the early 1990s, we have been reducing the amount of packaging we use through our global source reduction programme – eliminating unnecessary packaging and reducing weight while ensuring product quality.”
Since 2006, Nestlé Confectionery UK & Ireland says it has reduced the weight of packaging for small and medium-sized eggs by 30-50%. In 2009, the company replaced non-recyclable plastic with recyclable cardboard packaging in 20 million eggs – 80% of the range.
The company has also worked on the packaging for the Christmas range; in 2009, it replaced the plastic insert with a card presentation tray - making 95% of the boxes recyclable – and also reduced the weight of its medium-sized and large boxes by 17% and 20% respectively.
Helen Bingham, campaign manager for Keep Britain Tidy, applauded Nestlé’s efforts and said it was “a great step forward for the confectionery industry”.
“We hope that other manufacturers follow their lead,” Bingham said. “The new packaging will prevent over 700 tonnes of waste going to landfill this Easter. This reinforces Keep Britain Tidy's 'Love Where You Live' campaign aims, which are to encourage communities and businesses to take responsibility for minimising their impact on the environment.”
Richard Swannell, Director of Design and Waste Prevention, WRAP, added, “WRAP welcomes Nestlé’s commitment to optimise Easter egg packaging while also increasing its recyclability. It is packaging innovation like this that helps consumers minimise and recycle their waste effectively."