Keynsham Voice April column: Plastic free Easter

Britain is a nation of chocolate lovers – in 2016 we collectively ate a whopping 555 thousand tonnes of the sweet stuff, with Brits spending £374 million at Easter alone on sweets and chocolate.

Over the past decade the rows of Easter eggs in the supermarket have been wrapped in ever more elaborate packaging – particularly plastic. But there’s been a push in recent years from consumer groups to challenge whether so much plastic is really needed to keep our eggs from cracking.

Just in time for this Easter, consumer group Which? has released the results of a survey looking at the most popular eggs and their packaging. Which? found that Thorntons’ Classic Large egg was the worst offender, with cardboard and plastic making up over 1/3 of the product’s weight.

Cadbury’s Twirl Large egg came out best, with packaging making up less than 1/5 of the weight.

The good news is that consumer pressure has led to more and more Easter egg packaging being recyclable, with the only unrecyclable component being the plastic window which is still found in some products.

With such a sharp focus on plastic pollution, what can we do to reduce levels of plastic packaging at Easter? For a start, we could just not buy eggs that come with a plastic window and ask relatives to do the same if they’re buying for grandchildren.

The more creative among us might even have a go at making their own. Silicone egg moulds are cheap to buy and can be reused again and again. It’s a lot of fun to do with kids too – if you don’t mind the kitchen looking like a chocolate bomb’s gone off in it! I speak from experience…

Finally, a plea for ‘good’ chocolate. Fair Trade changes people’s lives, giving them a decent living that allows them to invest in their business, send their children to school and have access to healthcare. So please, this Easter, whether you’re buying or making, look out for the Fairtrade sign.

Happy Easter from Transition Keynsham!

Published in Keynsham Voice, April 2018, www.keynshamvoice.co.uk

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