Easter egg recycling
With the Easter weekend - the time of year associated with the consumption of Easter eggs - fast approaching, the Joint Waste Team at the Forest of Dean District Council is urging residents to reduce waste and avoid buying eggs which have non-recyclable packaging if they can.
Last year, Britons spent £325m on Easter eggs alone and, as this trend increases, sales of the chocolate treat are set to reach an all-time high this year.
The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that 3,000 tonnes of packaging is discarded from the 80 million eggs sold annually in the UK but much of this could be recycled with many confectioners now simplifying their packaging, opting to ditch the plastic and use only cardboard and foil – both of which can be easily recycled locally.
Councillor Chris McFarling, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the Forest of Dean District Council, said: ‘It has never been easier for consumers to choose Easter eggs with fully recyclable packaging, so we are asking residents to think before they buy. Aluminium foil can be recycled again and again, without loss of quality, and can be taken to a number of sites across the district. The collected material is then processed by Taurus Crafts in Lydney. The charity sells on the foil - which it sorts and bales first - and uses the funds to support the work they do helping those with learning disabilities - so not only is foil recycling important for the environment, but by taking part, residents can do their bit to support a very worthwhile cause.’
Cardboard outer packaging can be recycled using the blue kerbside bag, which is collected weekly from the kerbside or taken to one of the recycling bank sites accepting this material.
Councillor Sue Coakley, Chair of Gloucestershire’s Joint Waste Committee said: ‘Easter is now the second largest retail event of the year, eclipsed only by Christmas in terms of the level of money spent. However, it is not just chocolate eggs and traditional Easter cards which are now on offer. Retailers now sell a wide-range of decorations and homewares, clothing, gifts and even Easter crackers. While Easter is clearly a time of celebration, we would urge everyone to think about what small steps they can take to help reduce the extra waste which is created at this time of year.’
While the foil used to protect Easter eggs is easy to recognise, some foil packaging is harder to identify. One way to find out if an item is foil or metallised plastic film, is to do the ‘scrunch test.’ Simply scrunch the item in your hand – if it remains scrunched it is foil and can be recycled; if it springs back it is probably metallised plastic film and not recyclable. Common items mistaken for foil include cat food pouches and crisp packets and therefore should not be put in the foil recycling banks.
Residents with foil to recycle can take it to the recycling banks sites at: Coleford Railway Drive Car Park, Cinderford Co-op (Dockham Road), Lydney Newerne Street Car Park, Newent Lewell Street Car Park, Ruardean (High Street), Ruspidge (Ruspidge Road), Sedbury British Legion (Grahamstown Road) and at the Household Recycling Centre at Broadwell.
During Easter, residents are reminded that collections on Good Friday will take place as normal. Collections due the week commencing 2 April, will take place one day later than normal due to no collections taking place on Easter Monday. Details of collection dates can also be found on the annual recycling calendar which was delivered to Forest of Dean households in the past few weeks.