Scots urged to go greener this Easter

Packaging created by around seven million Easter eggs set to be bought in Scotland this year will weigh the equivalent of more than 200,000 Easter bunnies, it has been revealed today (4 April 2012).

More than 250 tonnes of extra waste could be produced by Scotland’s Easter egg packaging alone, according to estimates from Zero Waste Scotland.

4 Apr 12

The Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland are encouraging people to consider choosing Easter eggs with less packaging and to be sure to recycle waste packaging using kerbside services or at local recycling facilities when Easter is over.

Home-made Easter chocolate treats can reduce waste even further, and with many families in Scotland also celebrating Easter with other seasonal goodies, like Sunday dinners and hot cross buns, taking steps to reduce food waste could save families money too. 

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Richard Lochhead, said:

“Chocolate treats and family get-togethers can be a great way to enjoy holidays like Easter, and it’s so easy to take simple steps to help the environment and Scotland’s economy at this time too. 
“Choosing Easter eggs with less packaging sends a clear message to retailers about consumer preferences. Recycling as much as you can gives valuable materials like paper boxes another life - and a boost to Scotland’s recycling industry. Find out more about your local recycling facilities by visiting and typing in your postcode.”

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Significant progress has already been made by leading retailers to reduce packaging covering Easter eggs.  However, more can be done and we can all play an important part by shopping smartly and recycling everything we can.

“Planning the Easter meals you want to enjoy, using a shopping list and making good use of leftovers, could also help save your family money too.  The average Scottish household could save up to £430 by cutting out food waste.  Visit to find out more.”

Top tips to a greener Easter

1.    Consider how much packaging comes with the Easter eggs you choose to buy, and if the packaging is made from recycled content or is recyclable after you’ve used it.  Make a choice which is good for the environment. 

2.    Consider an alternative to buying Easter eggs. Why not make your own sweet treat, like cranberry brownies or chocolate nests?  You might even be able to use up food you’ve already bought or items hiding at the back of your cupboard. 

3.    Make a point to recycle or reuse the packaging where possible.  Check the on-pack labelling to see if it can be recycled – you can find out where at using the handy postcode finder.  Or why not keep colourful foil and bright cardboard boxes to use for arts and crafts?  The plastic shell used to hold your Easter egg can be kept and used as a mould for next year.

4.    As well as with Easter eggs, consider preventing waste throughout the rest of the holiday.  If you’re making an Easter meal, make sure you check your cupboards and write a list before going shopping – this will stop you buying more than you need.  Use a portion planner to help you decide how much to buy and cook.  Leftover ingredients can be used again the next day – why not make stock from your chicken bones, or hash browns from excess potatoes.  There are lots more recipe ideas at

The statistic of 200,000 Easter bunnies is based on the average weight of a cotton-tailed rabbit, a breed upon which the Easter bunny is traditionally based. 

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