Easter eggs attacked for quality and waste

Eggs-ellent: Around 80 million Easter eggs are sold in the UK each year.

Are Easter eggs worth it? A new study of the top 10 bestselling Easter eggs reveals that customers are not only paying for a tasty treat — up to a third of the weight is actually packaging.

What’s happening

Millions of people in the UK are looking forward to cracking open a chocolate egg this Easter. First, egg fans must battle to open the box, then tear through plastic or foil as a study reveals that only two thirds of one of the nation’s bestselling eggs is actually edible — the rest is packaging.

Find out more

The study, run by Which?, weighed each Easter egg and calculated how much of the weight was packaging and how much was chocolate. On average around a quarter of the weight was packaging. The good news, however, is that almost all of it — even on the Thorntons’ Classic Large Egg, with 36.4% packaging — can be recycled. (Foil should be washed first, then scrunched into a ball.)

The first chocolate Easter egg was sold in the UK by Fry’s in 1873 and was made of solid chocolate — 145 years later and people in the UK spend around £220 million buying Easter eggs, but not everyone is a fan.

Many believe the chocolate used to make mass-market eggs is poor quality. They are also a distraction — isn’t Easter supposed to be about more than chocolate eggs?

Some say…

Easter is an important holiday, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a holiday for people to celebrate with their loved ones. Giving gifts such as chocolate eggs can be part of that celebration, but should not be the only focus. Like Christmas, Easter is in danger of being another excuse to spend money and eat too much chocolate.

Others think…

Easter eggs are fun and tasty. Eggs are a symbol of new life in many religions across the world, and it can be argued that eggs were part of pagan spring celebrations before they became associated with the Christian holiday of Easter. People should be free to celebrate this holiday any way they like, including buying — and eating — chocolate eggs.

You Decide

  1. Should you buy someone an Easter egg to celebrate the holiday?

Activities

  1. One of the reasons Which? conducted this study was to encourage the companies that make Easter eggs to think more carefully about how much — and what sort of — packaging they use. Try to make your own Easter egg box only using recycled materials.

Some People Say...

“The snap and crack is all-important in a chocolate egg.”

Martyn Nail, Claridge’s chef (and chocolate fan)

What do you think?

Word Watch

Easter
This year Easter Sunday falls on April 1.
Edible
Something that is suitable for eating.
Which?
A company that tests products and services to encourage companies to act responsibly.
Recycled
Rubbish that can be used again in some way.
Pagan
Anyone holding beliefs outside the main world religions - in this instance ancient pagans might have had religious practices inspired by nature and the natural world.

Subjects

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