How to Make Easter Egg Packaging More Environmentally Friendly
An extra 8,000 tonnes of packaging waste is generated every Easter. According to Which?, as much as 1/3 of the weight of an Easter egg is the cardboard and plastic packaging it comes in. We know that consumers are making more mindful purchasing decisions when it comes to the biggest seasonal event of them all – Christmas. And we know people are already looking for sustainable packaging solutions with 2/3 of Brits thinking companies should be required by law to produce eco-friendly packaging. So, does the Easter confectionary market have some catching up to do with sustainable Easter egg packaging?
What’s the Problem?
As we know, the outer card of Easter egg packaging is not the only problem. There’s also the plastic that holds the main egg in place, the plastic trays used to hold the chocolates and the wrapping of the added individually wrapped chocolate bars that sometimes come with it. And the main issue is lots of this still can’t be recycled! Even the inks that are used to create the fun designs on the card outing aren’t often biodegradable. However, manufacturers are making progress in creating sustainable Easter egg packaging, with a big focus on reducing plastics – something we love to see! After all, there should be no egg-scuses for so much waste.
Brands Breaking with Tradition
To help battle the packaging waste caused every Easter, HAPPi, the oat milk chocolate brand, has launched a range of egg-shaped bars to target Easter egg lovers who are happy to ditch the traditional hollow milk chocolate egg. The 2D egg can be packaged more easily than a 3D hollow egg which needs additional packaging to protect its fragile, thin chocolate walls – also ditching the plastic needed to hold the egg in place.
This year, NOMO has relaunched 3 of its Easter eggs and bars – all of which have lost 18.3% of their packaging from last year with an estimated savings of 4-tonnes of card per 330K unit sales. That’s huge! By losing so much packaging, it makes the products more sustainable to transport and store because of the loss of unnecessary space – we love this idea!
Also leading the way this year is Mars Wrigley UK. Last year, they made a staggering 142-tonne reduction in packaging across its Easter eggs and a 6-tonne reduction in plastic this Easter. In 2020, the company announced its first steps to remove the plastic trays from large eggs, accounting for a 270-tonnes plastic reduction.
Can Sustainable Packaging be as Fun?
Yes! As brands like NOMO and HAPPi show, Easter eggs can still be as fun and exciting for children (and adults) when more sustainable packaging is used. They can retain the bold colours and fun designs, meaning customers will still be drawn to these egg-citing eye-catching Easter eggs.
At Greyhound Box, we use inks that are water-based to uphold the 100% recyclability of our corrugated packaging. Sustainable inks are great at keeping visual appeal without the harmful effects of chemicals and solvents used in other inks.
It’s also possible to give packaging designs a new purpose. Nestle cereals feature a webpage on how you can turn their cereal boxes into new craft ideas such as a shadow puppet theatre or a DIY football table made entirely out of a cereal box. It would be great to see big chocolate brands release similar articles on how children could reuse their Easter egg packaging to create a new toy.
At the same time, it’s a great opportunity to teach the next generation about sustainable practices. At Greyhound Box, we’re big on reusing our packaging. Our products can withstand multiple journeys throughout your supply chain using just the right amount of packaging. This helps us avoid the need for a one-size-fits-all model box that requires additional filler materials that can contribute to the waste pile, like bubble wrap for protection.
What Else can be Done?
At Greyhound Box, we create bespoke designs with an emphasis on protection. As brands are reducing their packaging, we can help by creating outer boxes to help with storing and transporting the chocolate eggs. With efficient designs of Easter egg packaging, we can help produce high-quality freight boxes to keep shipping emissions down and maintain fuel efficiency during transport due to their lightweight nature.
What’s more, our boxes are really resilient! They are made of a minimum of three layers of corrugated card, which increases durability and keeps the chocolate eggs safe from potential crack-cidents. We can also help by redesigning packaging to completely eliminate all plastic components with packaging accessories like paper tape and course cardboard. With our help, there’s no need for tonnes of waste this Easter.
Let’s Hop to it!
Making Easter sustainable doesn’t have to be boring. Already, there are environmentally friendly alternatives on offer and there’s still the possibility of going further with it. After all, Easter doesn’t have to be wasteful to still be fun for your family – it’s just time to get creative with how we celebrate it!
Don’t worry, be hoppy! Learn how we can support your move away from plastic to bespoke sustainable cardboard. Our expert team would love to hear from you and give you some egg-cellent advice.