Easter eggs get smaller (but don't worry, it's only the boxes)

Children will wake up to smaller Easter eggs tomorrow – because chocolate makers have shrunk the packaging on millions of boxes by half.

Responding to complaints that excessive packaging was creating waste and misleading consumers about the amount of chocolate they were getting, confectioners have been steadily cutting paper and plastic wrapping over the past five years.

Cadbury has ditched plastic wrapping and shrunk boxes, slashing packaging by 16 per cent on large eggs and 13 per cent on medium ones this year. Swiss manufacturer Nestlé has knocked 12 per cent off packaging on medium eggs this year and its wrappings are now 100 per cent recyclable. Mars has removed most plastic inserts.

Overall, chocolate makers say the changes have cut the volume of packaging by half, saving thousands of tons of materials and thousands of lorry journeys.

Cadbury, now owned by Kraft, said: "We have almost halved the weight of our primary and secondary packaging in the past five years, which has not only saved more than 2,000 tons [of materials] but also reduced the number of HGV journeys by around 2,500."

Nestlé said this year's cuts – which have helped slash the weight of its packaging by 30 to 50 per cent since 2006 – had saved 100 tons of card.

Despite these reductions, campaigners say manufacturers must do more to ensure that the 80 million Easter eggs eaten each year are greener. Refuse collectors are expected to collect around 4,500 tons of Easter egg packaging this year, with many materials still not recyclable, according to the Local Government Association.

LGA environment spokesman Clyde Loakes said: "Retailers and manufacturers have listened to the concerns of the public and reduced the amount of unnecessary packaging on Easter eggs.

"However, over the next fortnight the UK's 29,000 refuse collectors will each be hefting an estimated 145kgs of Easter egg packaging into dustcarts, so there is definitely still more to be done."

An annual survey of packaging showed that eggs from Belgian chocolatier Guylian and Swiss manufacturer Lindt were one-third packaging.

Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson checked the volume and weight of packaging and chocolate on 13 eggs. Overall, Sainsbury's £2 egg came out best, with its egg accounting for 60 per cent of the product's volume. At the opposite end of the scale, Guylian's £5.99 product was, by volume, only 9 per cent chocolate egg.

Findings from the survey support the manufacturers' claims that they have all substantially reduced packaging by weight over the past four years.

Since 2008, the weight of Nestlé's egg packaging has halved from 43 to 21 per cent of the total product. Mars has slimmed down from 27 to 15 per cent and Cadbury from 23 to 17 per cent.

Ms Swinson, who backed The Independent's campaign against excessive packaging in 2007, said: "The overall trend is encouraging, with Mars and Cadbury taking steps to reduce the size of their boxes and Guylian introducing a more streamlined box to replace the product in this study."

She added, though, that manufacturers needed to make more packaging recyclable. She said: "Today's Easter egg packaging contains more guidance on recycling and environmental information than in 2007 and companies are working towards ensuring that all materials are recyclable.

"Despite this, Nestlé's packaging remains the only product surveyed where materials are 100 per cent 'widely recycled' and six of the 10 products surveyed, both this year and in 2010, continue to use materials which have to be disposed of in landfill."

Who has the greenest Easter Eggs?

Sainsbury's

Cost: £2

Weight: 134g

60% Chocolate by volume

Green & Black's

Cost: £5.59

Weight: 229g

41% Chocolate by volume

Cadbury

Cost: £1

Weight: 194g

39% Chocolate by volume

Marks & Spencer

Cost: £5.99

Weight: 248g

34% Chocolate by volume

and the least green

Guylian

Cost: £5.99

Weight: 417g

9% Chocolate by volume

News
The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
people

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
Life and Style
View of champagne glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013
food + drink(and for now, there's a clear winner)
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
Irradiated turkey and freeze dried mash potato will be on the menu this thanksgiving
video
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?