Nestle Easter Egg packaging – your Questions answered.

Filed in Blog by on April 24, 2009 6 Comments
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Nancy Powell nestle customer services managerLast week we wrote about Nestlé’s reduced Easter packaging and invited you to ask your related questions to Nestle. Nancy Powell, CSR manager of Nestlé UK has answered your questions below.

Our thanks go to Nancy for taking the time to comment on your questions!

Q1 What’s Nestlé’s long term aim or ultimate ambition when it comes to Easter egg packaging?

Ultimately we’d like to reduce packaging and particularly unrecyclable plastic packaging as much as possible. Over the last few years we’ve worked hard to remove unnecessary packaging and to make the packaging easier to recycle and we will continue to look at how we can reduce packaging further.

Of course, it’s important to remember that an Easter egg is a gift and a treat and the packaging is an important part of that. Also, if you take away what we call the primary packaging (ie the box), you have to add additional secondary packaging, which supports the egg when it is being transported.

The changes we made this Easter are part of Nestlé’s global strategy to reduce packaging and help consumers recycle. More than half of Nestlé’s packaging in the UK and Ireland is recyclable and we constantly look at ways of further reducing the amount of packaging used.

Q2 What are the plans to make the large eggs plastic free?

At the moment the large eggs present a challenge, because they are heavier and it is hard to secure the weight of the eggs using cardboard alone. But we’re certainly looking at solutions and the ambition is to reduce packaging further and to make it as easy to recycle as possible.

Q3 What are the plans around US Easter eggs?

Most of the Easter eggs that Nestlé makes in the USA aren’t chocolate ‘shell’ eggs – they tend to be packets of ‘mini’ chocolate eggs. They are wrapped in foil and sold in a plastic bag, like similar bags of sweets in the UK.

Nestlé USA’s confectionery business is however making efforts to reduce packaging through initiatives such as a move this year to stack NestEggs more efficiently on transportation palletts in order to save secondary cardboard packaging.

Q4 People have been used to huge Easter egg packaging for many years; it is deemed a way of getting value for money. Do you think your reduced packaging will affect sales adversely or do you think it will boost them because more people are supporting companies who promote environmental issues?

We won’t know the full sales for Easter 2009 for a few more weeks, but the early industry indicators show that overall sales of Easter eggs in 2009 are good.

We did some research this year among consumers which showed that more than half (55%) of people have previously been put off Easter treats by excessive packaging. We hope that the actions that we and other manufacturers have taken this year to reduce packaging will have struck a chord with consumers.

Q5 What about the ethical points raised around cocoa and baby milk?

Nestlé has very clearly stated policies on all ethical issues, including cocoa production and infant formula. There is lots of information on the Creating Shared Value section of the Nestle website.

Here are two specific links to information about cocoa production and about marketing of infant formula:

http://www.nestle.com/SharedValueCSR/FarmersAndAgriculture/Cocoa/Cocoa+initiatives+in+Africa.htm

http://www.nestle.com/SharedValueCSR/ProductsAndConsumers/InfantHealthAndNutrition/Infant+formula+marketing.htm

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth’s fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. Layla says:

    Good to see Nestle improving the packaging issues!! 🙂

    & great to hear about reducing & improving ‘invisible’ secondary packaging too!!
    (I always wondered if it could be reused or recycled!)

    I would love to see all manufacturers reduce packaging even further, & produce healthy & safe yummies!!

  2. Carole Blake says:

    Some predictable and some encouraging comments there, but thank you to Nancy Powell for her input.

    At school before Easter, inspired by an idea from John, I started a competition amongst the children’s classes to save ALL of their Easter egg foil and any other foil they collected over the Easter holidays to bring into school to be moulded into one large ball shape (a ball seemed the easiest) and to see which class could make the heaviest ball. This was in an attempt to make sure ALL of their Easter egg foil ended up where it should, in the recycling bin, rather than in landfill. So far it’s looking very good and a couple of ball moulding sessions have already taken place, with a reminder in today’s newsletter for anyone who’d not brought theirs in yet.

    I’ll send a pic when we get them finished! Along with weights etc.

    Carole

  3. Layla says:

    Great idea, Carole!

    Maybe Nestle could even sponsor a friendly competition or do something like that UK-wide? 😉

    A consideration would be that kids would beg their Mums, ‘Oh Mum buy me more easter eggs, we have to win!’
    So maybe it would be good to explain it to them well, what the purpose of the mission is?

    Also, it would be good to make sure the foil is clean, & not smeared with chocolate, I suppose?

  4. Carole Blake says:

    @Layla: Ahh, at the school assembly, when I launched the competition, I made sure to ask that all the foil be clean. And by the look of what we’ve had back so far, instructions have been followed.

    I had a zero waste egg with me, and we talked about eggs with plastic packaging, and I asked them where they thought all that stuff went. I also gave them a gentle reminder, that if had a choice, to choose zero waste eggs.

    Carole.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    Carole – you’re brilliant and so inspiring, Well done you. I love how you are making a difference and influencing so many people at the same time.

    Can’t wait to see the pics! Please email them to me and I’ll share them on the site 🙂

  6. Fabulous feedback. Thank you Nancy. I would also be interested in finding out more about the steps to reduce packaging waste in other ranges of Nestle products as well as the Easter eggs. Any more information about the other stuff would be great too

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