IT’S a scenario that 72% of the Irish public didn’t anticipate, but this Easter will again be celebrated in lockdown. With restrictions in place, 45% say it is unlikely they will spend Easter with family this year. Despite this, 79% will still uphold their Easter traditions. That’s according to new research by environmental not-for-profit organisation, Repak1.
The research was carried out to encourage the public to recycle all types of packaging at home this Easter. Cardboard boxes, plastic moulds, chocolate trays, clean tin foil and egg boxes can all be recycled, and should be placed in the recycling bin clean, dry, and loose. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the public have been generating 10% more (up to 325,000 tonnes) packaging waste. While we remain at home, it is important that everyone recycles as much as possible to help protect the environment.
Keeping up traditions
Easter celebrations may be impacted again by Covid-19 this year, but the age-old tradition of buying chocolate eggs as gifts for others is not. Over a quarter (29%) will gift others Easter eggs.
In 2020, Irish consumers spent a record €371 million on groceries in the lead up to Easter2. Last year, 26% of the public3 bought alternative presents to reduce the packaging on items that they gift, but households recycled 6% more packaging waste last year in comparison to 2019. A significant 92% said they would prefer to receive Easter eggs that are accompanied by fully recyclable packaging. Despite this eco conscious mindset, our love for gifting a delicious Easter treat hasn’t waned in 2021.
This Easter, 57% of those polled by Repak plan to purchase up to 6 chocolate eggs and another 12% will buy 10 or more eggs! Interestingly though, almost a quarter (23%) will only dish out up to €20 on their chocolate haul with those polled aged between 45-54 the most willing to spend up to €60 on delicious eggs.
With family gatherings out of the equation for many this Easter, 63% have a newfound appreciation for celebrations with loved ones since the Covid-19 pandemic. Many are making the most of spending Easter at home, and over half (59%) will enjoy a celebratory meal on Easter Sunday. However, for those who can’t spend Easter with their loved ones, 21% have decided not to celebrate Easter at all this weekend.
On the hunt
A chocolate egg hunt will be a big part of many households Easter festivities at home this weekend. At least 1 in 10 will organise a hunt at home and while our world has become increasingly digitised since the pandemic, surprisingly only 2% are planning to make their household’s hunt a virtual one.
Of the 1,000 adults polled for the Repak study, 590 are parents. For parents who will hold a chocolate egg hunt for their children at home this year, 21% feel either anxious or apprehensive about it.
Commenting on the research findings, Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak said: “We are very conscious that this Easter will be different again for consumers as we remain at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While just under half are unlikely to see their families, 79% still plan to celebrate Easter this year resulting in more packaging waste being generated. We have seen huge changes in packaging with Ireland’s biggest Easter egg producers, our Members, including Mondelēz, Nestlé, Mars and Butlers, to name but a few, have reduced their packaging by over 30% in the last ten years.
” Many products also now use 100% recycled cardboard as well as decreasing the box size over the years with our Members reducing excess packaging of up to 40%. We are asking everyone to continue recycling and play their part in ensuring we continue to protect our environment at this difficult time. Household recycling has increased by 10% since the start of the pandemic and by pledging to join over 18,900 people on Repak’s Team Green and remembering to always put recyclable items in the recycling bin that are clean, dry and loose, the public can continue to support the protection of the environment, beginning in their homes’’.
For more information on best practice recycling behaviour as well as a full list of household items that can and can’t be recycled, visit repak.ie.