Nestle Easter Eggs’ 100% Recyclable Packaging Saves 726 Tons of Plastic Waste

by | Mar 20, 2012

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Nestle UK & Ireland has converted to 100 percent recyclable packaging on its Easter egg confectioneries by replacing rigid plastic with cardboard. The move is expected to save an estimated 726 tons of plastic waste going to landfill per year, based on a comparison of the weight of plastic used in 2008 to manufacture Nestlé’s Easter egg boxes, the company said.

Nestlé said that the eco-packaging project, which removes all plastic packaging from all its eggs, took six years to complete, and that it is the first major confectioner to accomplish this task.

Since 2006, Nestlé UK & Ireland has reduced the weight of packaging for small and medium-sized eggs by 30-50 percent. In 2009, the company became the first major confectioner to replace non-recyclable plastic with recyclable cardboard packaging in 20 million eggs – 80 percent of the line. In 2011, 100 tons of plastic were removed across the entire line.

The last products in its seasonal candy line to become 100 percent recyclable were the Yorkie, Munchies and Kit Kat Easter eggs which also include a branded mug, the company said.

Nestlé said it had required 48 tons of plastic used to secure the mug and egg, and this has been replaced with recyclable cardboard certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. They also added a compostable film for the windows which yielded a 30 percent reduction in packaging in the mug eggs.

Estimates from WRAP said that Easter egg packaging created 3,000 tons of waste in the U.K. in 2009. In 2011 86 million Easter eggs were sold, a market valued at £280 million ($445 million), Nestlé said.

Other packaging reduction efforts include a redesigned refill packet for Nescafé coffe that now requires 50 percent fewer trucks per ton of coffee to transport the goods to retailers, and packaging reductions to its other seasonal confectioneries, Nestlé said.

Other recent sustainable candy campaigns include the move by Hershey’s to source 100 percent of cocoa in its Bliss products from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms.

Greenpeace International launched a campaign against Nestle in 2010 alleging that its chocolate bars used unsustainable palm oil, and the company committed to using only certified sustainable palm oil by 2015.

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