The Fairtrade, own-brand Easter eggs sold by the Co-op will be launched in its stores across the UK from 15 February 2021


The move will see the Co-op save more than 14 tonnes of unnecessary plastic from being used (Credit: Pixabay)

The Co-op has announced it’s removing the plastic packaging from its Easter eggs.

It’s part of the UK retailer’s commitment to eliminate unnecessary plastic from its own-brand ranges.

The firm is doing this by getting rid of the plastic inner packaging and windows for all five of its hollow Fairtrade Easter eggs, which will save more than 14 tonnes of unnecessary plastic.

The move comes as it gets ready to roll out the UK’s largest ever scheme to collect and recycle plastic film, part of its ambition to make 100% of its own-brand packaging easy to recycle by the end of this year.

The Co-op’s environment manager Iain Ferguson said: “Easter egg packaging is renowned for its excessive use of unnecessary plastic, whether to protect the chocolate or to display the design of the confectionery.

“Our teams have worked incredibly hard to deliver a new solution that ensures the egg is still protected whilst allowing our customers to see all the aspects of the eggs and their stunning designs.

“This is a really positive step within the packaging industry, especially for seasonal Easter lines.”


Plastic packaging-free Co-op own brand Easter eggs range available from 15 February

The Co-op’s Fairtrade, own-brand Easter eggs will be launched in stores nationwide from 15 February 2021.

As part of its work, the retailer has also reduced its reliance on virgin or “new” plastic and now uses almost 40% recycled content in its own-brand packaging.

Last year it became the first retailer to switch all of its 500ml, 750ml, one and two-litre own-brand still, sparkling and flavoured water, carbonated drinks and mixers to 100% recycled material, meaning they are fully recycled and recyclable.

This move alone saved 1,400 tonnes of virgin plastic from being produced each year.

From April 2021, the Co-op will have also removed all plastic forks from its food-to-go ranges, saving 59 tonnes of plastic.

Environmental charity WWF-UK’s sustainable materials specialist Paula Chin said: “There is no reason we can’t be both festive and plastic-free, and it is great to see businesses like the Co-op tackling our throwaway culture head-on.

“Easter and spring are a time we celebrate the natural world, and not a time to further pollute our planet.

“We need to see more businesses, producers and governments all taking greater responsibility. The natural world isn’t a luxury – it is our life support system and we must act now to protect it before it’s too late.”

Consumer association Which?’s head of sustainability Michael Briggs added: “Our research shows the recyclability of grocery packaging is important to consumers, yet almost half of packaging used by supermarkets is not widely recyclable, so it is good to see the Co-op taking steps to reduce its use of plastic packaging.

“To reduce the waste that goes to landfill, the government must make labelling mandatory, simple and clear, enabling shoppers to know exactly how to dispose of packaging on the products they consume.”