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January 29, 2014
2 Min Read
A recent study by UK recycling firm Valpak and the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN), have produced a series of packaging pyramids to show the total amounts of packaging used per year on 73 different types of products that we buy on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis.
These pyramids were produced as a result of increasing consumer concerns about excessive packaging, and Easter Egg packaging is often at the forefront of the excess packaging debate.
It is estimated that over 100 million Easter Eggs are sold in the UK each year, protected by approximately 8,000 tons of packaging. However, the packaging pyramids emphasize how some products we perceive as being big contributors to the UK waste stream, such as Easter Eggs, make small contributions due to their seasonal nature.
In fact, Easter Egg packaging in recent years accounts for less than 0.3% of the total packaging used for all of the 73 types of products.
This type of packaging is important, though, because some consumers are concerned about it. However, we need to recognize the excellent work carried out to reduce packaging for the all the other products that we buy daily or weekly. Minimizing the packaging on cans, bottles, tubs and wrapping goes relatively unseen, but it keeps the weekly waste down, whereas we enjoy Easter eggs just once a year.
Furthermore, all the major manufacturers have listened to consumer concerns, and many Eggs this year have less packaging.
Jane Bickerstaffe, INCPEN Director said, “Packaging costs money so it makes commercial and environmental sense for companies to reduce packaging, though not so far that the product gets damaged.”
Although most excess packaging is usually associated with seasonal products or gift items, there are some other products where there is scope for reduction. The packaging pyramids also help identify these.
Further information can be found on the recycle-more website
Sources: Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment; Valpak
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