Recycle for Scotland

How to recycle egg-cellently this Easter

26 MAR 21 | 3 minute read

Whether you gently tap it or go all out and smash it, these days it just wouldn’t be Easter without an iconic chocolate egg or two...or three. Let’s face it, who’s counting? 

Unfortunately, our Easter chocolate fix brings with it a deluge of cardboard, plastic and foil packaging as manufacturers compete to catch shoppers’ attention in an increasingly competitive market. 

Packaging isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

In 2018 an estimated 12.3 million chocolate eggs were sold in Scotland, creating nearly 900 tonnes of Easter Egg packaging waste – equivalent to the weight of 334 African elephants! 

The environmental impacts of your Easter egg packaging don’t just start when it’s time to figure out which bit goes in which bin either. The embodied carbon impacts of manufacturing the packaging materials are nearly 1,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.  

Or to put it another way, the same as flying around the world a whopping 220 times or making around 500 return car journeys from Aberdeen to London. 

Before you buy, check the label on your Easter egg – does it tell you what can and can’t be recycled? #HowtoWasteLess

Elephant graphic with stat on the weight of Easter egg packaging

Recycling your Easter egg packaging

Before you buy, check the label on your Easter egg – does it tell you what can and can’t be recycled? 

If you’re anything like us there won’t be an Easter egg in sight by Monday morning so knowing how to recycle your packaging beforehand can save you time. Screenshot our ‘cheat sheet’ list below to remind yourself what can and can’t be recycled... 

  • Cardboard: remove any plastic windows, fold down and recycle with paper and card. 
  • The plastic shell that comes with bigger Easter eggs is usually PET1 (the same type of plastic that drinks bottles are made of). Look for the symbol and if your local authority accepts plastic bottles then add this to your recycling pile. 
  • Foil is widely recyclable so munch, scrunch and recycle!  
  • Plastic sweetie wrappers can’t be recycled easily so they should either go in the bin or taken to a TerraCycle recycling point.  
PETE 1 plastics symbol

Make your own: alternatives to shop-bought Easter activities

  1. Forgo the packaging completely by making your own Easter eggs this year or trying out some egg-shaped home baking.  

  2. Reuse a wicker basket or canvas bag and give it an Easter makeover. Just remember to opt for something you can use year after year if you’re buying a basket. 

  3. Rethink your Easter egg hunt, by repurposing plastic eggs or choose wooden eggs that you could decorate yourself and update every year.  

  4. Instead of hunting for individually wrapped chocolate eggs give kids an Easter hunt that includes a map and clues to search for. 

  5. Have some fun with an egg and spoon race – just remember to eat your hard-boiled eggs afterwards and recycle your eggshells in your composter or food caddy. 

Race to be the best recycler

We teamed up with Glasgow Science Centre to create a fun recycling game all about Easter egg packaging – what you can recycle, how to recycle and why to recycle! The games featured in the Spring 2021 edition of The Spark magazine which is suitable for all ages and can be viewed or downloaded here.

Easter recycling board game