As much as a third of the weight of an Easter egg is still the cardboard and plastic packaging it comes in, according to research by Which?.
However, manufacturers have made big strides to make sure such packaging can be recycled, the consumer group said.
Its research looked at the 10 top-selling eggs in the UK.
Thorntons Classic Large Egg had the highest proportion of packaging – 36% of its weight. The firm said this was to maintain freshness and quality.
“All of the packaging used in the Thorntons Classic Collection Easter egg is recyclable, with the exception of the small plastic window film on the carton which contains the Classic collection chocolates,” the company said.
“In addition to being recyclable, the fitment that protects the egg is itself made from 50% recycled plastic.”
Overall, Which? said that packaging accounted for about 25% of the weight of the most popular eggs.
But almost all of the cardboard and plastic used in Easter eggs could now be recycled, it said.
The industry was previously criticised for producing packaging that could only be placed in landfill.
“It’s great to see that some manufacturers have taken on board concerns about excessive packaging and that chocolate lovers can enjoy their eggs without too much compromise,” said Nikki Stopford, director of research at Which?.
Nevertheless, the research would help shoppers who want to cut down on excess packaging, she said.
Among other Easter eggs found by Which? with a high proportion of packaging were:
- Lindt Lindor milk chocolate egg with truffles (28% packaging)
- Mars milk chocolate Easter egg and bar (25.5%)
- Cadbury Creme giant egg (25.1%)
Lindt – which is based in Switzerland – said it used recyclable materials wherever possible, but it also tried to source packaging locally, to minimise transport.
“As it is for all our raw materials, we take our responsibility towards the environment extremely seriously, and make sustainability a priority also for our packaging,” a Lindt spokeswoman said.
She also said the packaging was important for transporting the eggs, and keeping them hygienic.
What can I recycle?
Most of the plastic packaging on Easter eggs is recyclable, and uses the same type of plastic that bottles are made of.
Foil can also be recycled, with experts recommending consumers clean it first, then scrunch it into a ball.
However, plastic typically used to wrap chocolate bars cannot yet be recycled.