Recycle for Scotland

How to recycle egg-cellently this Easter

24 MAR 22 | 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. 

Here are some tips to make your Easter more sustainable...

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

An estimated 13.4 million chocolate eggs will be sold in Scotland in 2022, creating nearly 980 tonnes of Easter egg packaging waste*.

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 1,635 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Or to put it another way, the same as flying around the world a whopping 248 times or flying 8 medium-sized commercial planes from Edinburgh to New York. That’s got to be food for thought!

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

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?

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! It’s best to scrunch the whole family’s foil together to the size of a small ball – this avoids it getting caught in the recycling machinery.
  • Plastic sweetie wrappers can’t be recycled in your recycling bins at home, but some supermarkets (M&S, Coop, Tesco) now offer a limited collection of plastic film. Alternatively, you can take them 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 choosing wooden eggs or small stones 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 Spark magazine which is suitable for all ages and can be viewed or downloaded here.

Easter recycling board game

*This is an extrapolation of the 2018 figure, based on population projections.