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Which? blasts Christmas chocolate editions for excessive packaging weight

Which? blasts Christmas chocolate editions for excessive packaging weight

Which? blasts Christmas chocolate editions for excessive packaging weight

Chocolate brands have been criticised by Which? for using heavy packaging on Christmas packs – sometimes almost half the total weight.

Which? blasts Christmas chocolate editions for excessive packaging weight
Pic: Fischer Twins, Unsplash

Which? looked at the top 13 best-selling boxes of chocolates and found that Ferrero Rocher Collection was the worst offender with 42% of the total weight taken up by packaging and only 11% of that packaging being recyclable.

The best packaging weight and recyclable ratio was probably Lindt Lindor Mix, which contained very little packaging (by weight) – 11.5%, and only the individual chocolate wrappers are not recyclable – a commendable packaging strategy that has obviously been designed to be eco-firendly and sustainable overall.

Marks & Spencer The Big One Selection had the least packaging at just 8.5%, but its recyclable rate was 71%.

Thorntons Continental Selection was the second worst offender – packaging took up 29.4% of the whole weight while Cadbury’s Milk Tray was third with 22.6%.

However, both Thorntons Continental Selection (87%) and Cadbury’s Milk Tray (93%) had impressive recyclable components.

The plastic tubs used for Celebrations, Roses, Quality Street, Heroes, Morrisons Mega Mix and Chocolate Treats by Sainsbury’s are made of PET 1 – the same plastic that water and soft drinks bottles are made of, and Which? said it is collected by 99% of local authorities.

The survey also found that consumers were confused about what the different recycling symbols meant and how they would actually go about recycling.

Half (48%) wrongly identified the green dot, that is regularly found on packaging, as a sign that the packaging can be recycled; this is incorrect, as the green dot actually means that while the manufacturer pays into a recycling scheme, the packaging may still not be suitable for recycling.

Nikki Stopford, director of research and publishing at Which?, said: “We want our research to help people to make the right choices for them and to understand how to dispose of packaging in the most eco-friendly manner.”

Lee McBride, partner at law firm, Gowling WLG, added: “Whatever one may think about the ratio of the weight of a product to the  weight of packaging, the percentage of packaging used that is recycled has to be the key issue. Recycling advice on packaging has to be clear and unambiguous and not just for Christmas.”


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