LIFESTYLE: Expert Reveals how to reduce Easter Waste

Recycling Expert Cartridge Save reveals five top tips to reduce waste this Easter

Easter is on the horizon, and those who celebrate will be looking forward to consuming a large amount of chocolate eggs and other sweet treats – but the popularity of the holiday means that it’s no surprise that Easter is one of the most wasteful times of the year.  

In fact, according to Business Waste, Easter celebrations produce more than 9,600 tonnes of cardboard waste and over 4,000 tonnes of plastic waste in the UK each year – and that’s not even including the waste from cards, wrapping paper, and leftover foods. 

Thankfully, there are ways to have a greener Easter this year. Ian Cowley, MD, founder of Cartridge Save, has compiled his top tips for reducing waste this Easter and enjoying the holiday in a more sustainable fashion. Making a few simple changes could go a long way in protecting the environment, and it will likely save some money too. 

Choose eggs with recyclable packaging 

More chocolate eggs use cardboard rather than plastic in their packaging these days, which is better for the environment. Opting for eggs that come in recyclable packaging is the much more sustainable alternative, and there’s a vast range of these eggs to choose from, so your selections won’t be limited to just a few options.  

Make sure to recycle any cardboard, structured plastic, and foil found in Easter egg packaging. All recycled waste must be clean for it to be accepted, so remember to give it a rinse or a wipe down if necessary. 

If you can, avoid chocolate eggs that include extra chocolate that is wrapped or bagged in non-recyclable plastic. Many eggs will come with extras inside the egg instead of extra packaging. For other chocolate treats, avoid bags with individually wrapped chocolates, e.g. creme eggs – instead, buy those with loose, unwrapped chocolates, such as mini eggs.  

Try baking your own sweet treats 

Of course, chocolate eggs aren’t the only thing that many of us indulge in at Easter. There are multitudes of other sweet treats that consumers flock to. Treats such as cakes, hot cross buns, and chocolate nests are staples of the season. If you can, making these yourself can be both good for the environment and incredibly satisfying.  

Baking with family over the holiday can double as both an Easter activity and a way to have delicious Easter treats without lots of waste.  

If you enjoy baking and have the means or time to get creative, consider making your own chocolate eggs with a reusable mould. You can buy large chocolate bars to melt – ideally those wrapped in paper, foil, or other recyclable packaging – to use in a recipe. There are also plenty of other quick and easy recipes that you can try, such as chocolate nests and hot cross buns. 

These can save you money by avoiding overpriced sore-bought versions and instead buying the affordably priced individual ingredients. They may also be a healthier choice, as you can control the ingredients that go into homemade treats and avoid any artificial additives, preservatives, or other food processing.  


If you’re baking or cooking over Easter, try to practice tips you would throughout the year to avoid waste. Only buy what you need, portion meals, and eat any leftovers or incorporate them into a new meal. Additionally, compost anything that doesn’t get eaten or goes off. Aim to compost any real eggshells, for example, instead of just throwing them in the bin. We have some lovely recipes here.

Opt for good quality, reusable decorations 

If you’re someone who likes to decorate your home at Easter, be sure to avoid disposable decorations. These can be incredibly wasteful if made of plastic and will only be used for a brief period. Paper or card decorations are a good disposable option as these can be recycled. You can also buy decorations that are good quality and can be reused for years to come. This will prevent you from creating more waste and will save you money in the long run as you won’t have to buy new decorations next time around. 

One way to get involved is by making your own paper decorations, such as paper bunnies, paper eggs, paper baskets, paper flowers, paper chains or bunting. These can be recycled, will require minimal spending and can be a fun activity, especially for children. You could even use old Easter cards to make decorations or get creative with chocolate egg boxes. Additionally, using real plants or flowers to decorate your surroundings can create a beautiful spring-like atmosphere. 

If you feel limited by your options or want something different, consider swapping your decorations with friends and family. That way, you can switch things up and feel like you have something new without consuming more products or creating more waste.  

If you have children that want to dress up, make sure to donate their costumes or pass them on after the holiday season is over, or once they’ve grown out of them and can’t wear them again. 

Be mindful when sending cards or gifts – and consider digital options 

Easter cards are a tradition for many, but in the digital age, you should consider whether sending them is necessary. It’s ideal to reduce the number of cards you send, especially for people you see often. You can always send a text, social media message or e-card, all of which will produce no waste. 

Simple cards with no glitter or other embellishments like bows are the best option if you insist upon sending physical cards. When in doubt, look for FSC labelled cards, as these will meet a certain production sustainability standard and may be made from recycled materials as well as being recyclable themselves. Think about making your own DIY Easter cards using supplies you already have – this can also double as a festive activity, especially for children. You could even do this by reusing any old Easter cards you have and cutting them up to make new cards. 

As for gifts, avoid novelty items that the recipients won’t care about once the holiday is over, e.g. cheap toys – or consider purchasing second-hand or obtaining unwanted toys from family. Mugs can be a good gift idea as they will be reused. Maybe opt for an Easter-themed one, such as spring colours or patterns, as opposed to something too obviously festive that won’t be used throughout the rest of the year. 

Select recyclable wrapping paper when giving gifts, or better yet, give them unwrapped in a reusable gift bag. If you want to go completely waste-free, gifting someone a virtual gift card can be a great option and will let them choose their own gift, avoiding any unwanted purchases. 

Plan zero-waste Easter entertainment 

If you’re hosting a party or want to provide some Easter entertainment, it’s a great idea to organise a zero-waste Easter egg hunt. For this, you can use reusable wooden eggs, make eggs using spare paper or card, or buy foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, which you can rinse and recycle when you’re done. Recyclable arts and crafts can be a fun way to involve children in the making of paper decorations or costumes, ideally using art supplies you already own or good-quality art supplies you can reuse for a long time. 

Play games that are waste-free or low-waste – egg and spoon races or egg relay races could use reusable wooden eggs. Alternatively, create an Easter bingo, or make a pin the bunny tail game out of paper. Think about how you can put an Easter spin on games you already own and play. Easter-themed quizzes are a low-waste option that can be thoroughly enjoyable. These will only require a pen and paper, or even better, could be done entirely digitally.  

“An Easter-themed movie night could be perfect for low-waste entertainment. Streaming services or DVDs can provide hours of entertainment and classic movies like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory are great for keeping to the festive theme.” commented Ian Cowley, MD, founder of Cartridge Save. 

“Ultimately, prioritise experiences and quality time with friends and family over the holiday. Many activities don’t require any extra spending and won’t produce any waste but will still guarantee an enjoyable time with your loved ones.” 

Article thanks to Cartridge Save

Egg Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Hot Cross Buns Photo by Jasmine Waheed on Unsplash

Author: minervadigi