Too Eggstravagant? Over a fifth of Irish residents feel they buy too many Easter eggs

Repak calls on the Irish public to join Team Green and recycle more this Easter

  • Irish residents are expected to recycle 39,020 tonnes of packaging recycling this year, enough to fill the Aviva Stadium to its roof almost twofold
  • 36% receive chocolate eggs before Easter each year and as a result, 41% of those admit they have a full bin of packaging waste before Easter
  • 45% feel that Easter eggs have been accompanied by less packaging in the last five years
  • 37% said that ensuring the packaging waste is recyclable is of most priority to them when buying an Easter egg
  • Despite this, 35% would still buy their favourite chocolate Easter egg if it was accompanied by too much packaging 


According to the findings of a new research study by Repak*, 28% of Irish residents are expecting to buy 8 chocolate eggs or more this Easter, but at least 1 in 10 are unsure that they are correctly recycling the Easter egg packaging.

Irish residents consume 17.5 million** Easter eggs annually and as the number of eggs consumed each year continues to rise, so too does the volume of Easter egg packaging being generated. Over a third (37%) receive chocolate eggs before Easter each year and as a result, 41% say they have a full recycling bin before the weekend has begun.

This Easter, Repak is encouraging the public to be a good egg and pledge their support for Team Green, a new initiative powered by the not for profit recycling scheme. Irish residents nationwide can demonstrate their commitment to increasing Ireland’s recycling levels by recycling more at home. If everyone in Ireland recycled one more piece of plastic a week, 250 million more items of plastic will be recycled a year. By joining Team Green, the public can feel assured that they are playing a key role to protect Ireland’s environment for future generations.

Mums buy the Easter eggs…or maybe it’s Dad!

The Repak study has revealed that for those polled who have children, it will be mostly Mums (81%) who will take charge of the Easter egg shopping this year. But when Dad take the reins, over half (53%) of patriarchs will plan their Easter egg haul early. Despite 90% of Dads believing that Easter eggs go on sale too early, perhaps the temptation of assuming the Easter bunny role at home is relished more by father figures, with 15% buying Easter eggs as soon as they hit the shelves.

Which came first: the chocolate or the packaging?

With 1 in 10 planning to spend €50 or more for a chocolate fix this Easter and so many different types of Easter eggs to choose from, making the decision on which eggs to buy can be a difficult one. For many, it’s down to what matters to them most, their love of a delicious chocolate egg or their determination to reduce the packaging waste that they generate. Almost two thirds (63%) say they choose to buy an Easter egg based on the type of chocolate that it is, rather than whether the packaging is recyclable or not. Despite over 90% claiming to recycle all their packaging correctly, this eco-conscious behaviour is not front of mind when they have the option to indulge in their favourite Easter egg. A significant 35% said that they still would buy their favourite chocolate egg, regardless of whether the packaging it comes in is recyclable or not.

Easter egg packaging: then and now

Almost 40,000 tonnes of packaging waste are expected to be recycled this Easter, which demonstrates how far the Irish public have come in improving their recycling habits. It also perhaps reflects the efforts of chocolate egg manufacturers to increase the recyclability of their Easter egg packaging. When asked if they felt that Easter eggs were accompanied by less packaging in the last five years, 46% said that they have seen a change.

Commenting on the research findings, Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak said:

“ This Easter, we are calling on those who have not yet pledged their support to Team Green, to get behind the drive to increase recycling over the Easter holidays. By recycling better at home, you are supporting Ireland in reaching its future recycling targets. This Easter, make sure you know what can and cannot be recycled’’.

Repak’s top tips on how to be an eggcellent recycler this Easter

  • Most of the packaging on Easter eggs is recyclable, and the cardboard and hard plastic covers can be disposed of in the recycle bin
  • Soft plastic, such as that used for sweets and chocolate wrappers, must be disposed of in the general waste bin
  • Foil can be recycled, ensure it is clean, dry and loose.  If foils are soiled they cannot be recycled and should be disposed of the general waste bin
  • When you have finished with your Easter eggs make sure that the recyclable items are clean, dry and loosely placed in the recycling bin.

For more information on how you can join Team Green and become an environmental champion, visit Recycling on Facebook or @RepakRecycling on Twitter.

*refers to a survey of 554 Irish residents conducted in April 2019.

**refers to research conducted by Repak in 2018.

Comments are closed.