WRAP co-ordinates working group to reduce seasonal confectionery packaging

18th March 2008

WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) is co-ordinating a Seasonal Confectionery Industry Working Group – a group of confectionery manufacturers working to reduce packaging for seasonal products such as Easter eggs.

Members of the collaborative group currently include major suppliers such as Mars UK, Cadbury-Trebor-Bassett, Nestle UK, Kraft UK, Magna Specialist Confectioners and WRAP. Other brands or manufacturers are welcome to join and retailers are welcome to provide support and guidance. 

Mark Barthel, special advisor for WRAP said: “Major players in the seasonal confectionery industry have signed up to this group. By joining, they are ensuring that issues relating to packaging are taken into account and that consumer appeal is retained. This in turn will ensure changes can be made across the industry.” 

In response to the challenging packaging reduction targets set by some of the retailers, the group is working together to find ways of reducing seasonal confectionery packaging without compromising brand perception.

It aims to promote a widespread packaging reduction programme for seasonal confectionery, to identify barriers to packaging reduction and to monitor progress of change. The group will also share findings with the sector to accelerate change. 

In the first instance, the group will investigate ways to reduce packaging across medium-sized Easter Eggs.

The key objective of this project is for Members to reduce the outer carton packaging overall by a minimum of 25% in weight.  The group will seek to achieve this by working towards standardised external dimensions of the outer carton, which Members may voluntarily adopt.  Members may also look at other opportunities where an industry approach is necessary to redesign the outer carton and achieve the packaging reduction.  The group’s activities do not preclude Members from seeking to pursue individual projects to reduce packaging waste.

Long lead-times involved in seasonal confectionery mean impact will be seen on shelves during Easter 2009. 

Packaging generated from Easter eggs was around 3,000 tonnes in 2006.  Best-in-Class packaging weight data indicates that if all Easter eggs were changed to the current lightest, up to 680 tonnes less packaging material per year would be required. This initiative seeks to accelerate activities in this area and promote best practice so that these potential material savings can be realised.

  • WRAP works in partnership to encourage and enable businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often. This helps to minimise landfill, reduce carbon emissions and improve our environment.
  • Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Working in seven key areas (Construction, Retail, Manufacturing, Organics, Business Growth, Behavioural Change, and Local Authority Support), WRAP’s work focuses on market development and support to drive forward recycling and materials resource efficiency within these sectors, as well as wider communications and awareness activities including the multi-media national Recycle Now campaign for England.
  • More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on www.wrap.org.uk