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College scientists see how Easter eggs measure up

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Monday 25 March 2013

Tests on a range of popular Easter eggs has found that nearly a quarter of the products are packaging.

And in terms of the ratio to chocolate, some had nearly twice as much packaging as others.

However the good news is the vast majority of the packaging is recyclable, according to the study by Elizabeth College Sixth Form students.

Taking place in the school laboratory, they sported their white coats and used scales to rate the brands based on the amount of packaging each egg is wrapped in and how recyclable it is.

Public Services' Recycling Officer Tina Norman-Ross said the study had an important purpose.

'One of the products that has traditionally involved a lot of packaging is Easter eggs. Over the past few years consumers have become conscious of that, and to be fair to manufacturers a lot have responded by reducing packaging and also ensuring as much of it as possible is recyclable.

'The packaging obviously has a purpose, and the really good news is that now most of it is recyclable. However this study also shows you can still see quite a range in terms of the amount used, so there's a choice there for consumers.'

Easter eggs from a range of manufacturers including popular brands Mars and Nestle were used in the experiment and a rating for each was given based on the weight of the packaging.

On average they had 95 grams of packaging and 302 grams of chocolate and other edible treats. So if every islander ate one Easter egg, this would generate around six and half tonnes of packaging. More than two thirds of this would be cardboard, with the remainder mostly clear plastic. There would also be around 125 kilograms of metal foil and 80 kilograms paper.

However there would also be around 120kg of black plastic, which is not recyclable locally, but this was only found in two of the eight eggs tested.

The lowest proportion of packaging was Waitrose's Belgian Chocolate and Jelly Beans Egg, which had half the average with cardboard and plastic making up just 12.5% of the product. It was also one of the smallest.

However the next best was the largest - Galaxy's Block Premier Easter Egg - with just 17.25%.

Bottom of the packaging league were Guylian Belgian Chocolates and Thornton's Classic Collection Easter eggs, which both had nearly 30% packaging. Most others also had more than 25%.

Public Services Minister Deputy Paul Luxon said he hoped everyone would enjoy their Easter eggs, but remember to recycle afterwards. "We all know that these eggs often come in extravagant and attractive packaging. That's all part and parcel of Easter, but we'd like people to think about the packaging.

'We want to reduce it, and really consumers have a role to play in encouraging that by the choices they make. If they choose eggs to buy that have less, rather than more packaging, this makes the point to manufacturers that consumers want them to be responsible with their packaging and not just overdo it unnecessarily. And whatever there is we would really encourage islanders to make sure they recycle.'

ENDS

Follow us:- www.facebook.com/recycleforgsy @recycleforgsy

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