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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Eggs and packaging

This press release from Liberal Democrat MP, Jo Swinson, could well be an April Fool's joke, though if it is she might have dated it as such rather than 31 March. We have to assume therefore that she is making a serious point, which of course she is:

Saturday 31st March 2007

The Liberal Democrats have released research showing that only 15% of an average Easter egg is made from chocolate.

The main findings are:

• The average volume of Easter eggs was approximately 15% of the total packaging volume, with the worst case being the Lindt egg, which took up just 9% of the volume of the total package.
• The average height of Easter eggs was approximately 60% of the height of packages.
• The average weight of Easter eggs was less than half of that of the average weight of the total egg packages.
• The majority of the Easter eggs were packaged using three separate layers of material – an egg wrapped in foil, in a plastic tray, inside a cardboard box.
• Most of the products also contained extra items within further packaging: chocolates, miniature eggs and chocolate bars.
• Of the 14 eggs measured, 4 gave no recycling information on the packaging, 8 used the standard logo to encourage recycling and in just two cases, both mentioned below, was further information related to recycling given on the packaging.

The serious point is that chocolate Easter eggs are a stand-out example of excess packaging. As Jo says:

“None of us can escape our environmental responsibilities. Consumers have a vital role to play in recycling, as do businesses and local authorities. However, this is a role that could be made far easier if producers reduced quantities of packaging, unburdening consumers of the
excessive amounts of packaging that they take home with their shopping.

“Tougher action against excess packagers, extended commitments from supermarkets and producers to cut packaging and promotion of good practice among supermarkets must all be part of the Government’s plans in the future.”

Nevertheless one cannot help wondering who got to eat all that chocolate once the research was completed.
I suspect you would have to take the egg out of Jo's cold dead hands to get near the chocolate.
Yes, I think that is what I was hinting at.
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