Replacing rigid plastic with cardboard in its mug egg range is the final stage in the firm’s six year recycling initiative, which will prevent 726t of plastic packaging going to landfill each year, a spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
The last products to become 100% recyclable were Yorkie, Munchies and Kit Kat Easter eggs, which included a branded mug. The 48t of plastic used to secure the mug and egg has been replaced with recyclable cardboard certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council and a compostable film for the windows. This resulted in a 30% reduction in packaging in the mug eggs, said the firm.
David Rennie, md of Nestlé Confectionery UK & Ireland, said:“Nestlé carefully considers the environmental impact of packaging as an integral part of its product design.
“Since the early nineties, 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.”
Helen Bingham, campaign manager for Keep Britain Tidy said:“Nestlé’s achievement in becoming the first major confectioner to create 100% recyclable Easter egg packaging is a great step forward for the confectionery industry and we hope that other manufacturers follow their lead.”
Easter egg packaging accounted for 3,000t of waste in 2008, according to the government-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Richard Swannell, its director of design and waste prevention, said:“WRAP welcomes Nestlé’s commitment to optimise Easter egg packaging while also increasing its recyclables.
“It is packaging innovation like this that helps consumers minimise and recycle their waste effectively.”
Nestlé started to reduce packaging for Easter eggs in 2006 by cutting out 30-50% of the packaging used for small and medium sized eggs. Work to remove rigid plastic from its packaging began in 2009, the spokesman said.
The firm plans to make the bottles for Buxton Natural Mineral Water and Nestlé Pure Life the lightest in the UK after opening its new production facility later this year.
The new Buxton factory will use an average of 25% less polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic than the current design.
“As a company – globally – there is a programme to reduce packaging whenever possible,” the spokesman said.“Easter eggs are just one of these projects.”
Eggs-ordinary facts 2011
- 86M Easter eggs sold
- Nestlé sold 18.5M eggs
- UK Easter egg sales valued at £280M
- Total confectionery market valued at nearly £5bn