The research finds excessive use of packaging materials, insufficient recycling information on boxes and Government packaging regulations being ineffective against breaches.
Commenting on the report, Jo said:
“Easter eggs are some of the worst offenders for excess packaging. Packages are often unnecessarily large and use several layers of card, plastic and foil packaging. This report quantifies, with eye-opening results, the extent to which consumers are buying Easter eggs but paying for packaging.
“Consumers have a responsibility to recycle packaging, but this is a role made far easier if producers unburden shoppers by cutting excess packaging further up the supply chain. This should not present a major challenge – at least one producer has managed to cut drastically the amount of Easter egg packaging used.
“This is an issue to do with all excess packaging, not just Easter eggs, which merely provide a good example of how bad the situation can get. To tackle excess packaging, the Government needs to enforce more strictly its existing regulations, designed to minimise packaging. Consideration should be given to binding targets on cuts in packaging if the existing voluntary agreements are shown to be ineffective.”
Jo has written and sent copies of her report to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary David Miliband, as well as several supermarkets and food producers. In Parliament, she has asked a number of Parliamentary Questions and has tabled an Early Day Motion on excessive packaging, which has received 110 signatures to date.