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MP resurrects row over Easter egg packaging

Confectionery companies have been criticised after an annual survey of Easter egg packaging revealed there has been only a slight improvement in wasteful wrapping.

Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat MP for East ­Dunbartonshire, has campaigned against excessive packaging and has carried out the name-and-shame study for the past three years. She said Guylian was the worst offender, followed by Lindt, Bailey’s and Cadbury.

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She said that while there had been a substantial improvement in efforts by manufacturers to reduce the amount of packaging on Easter eggs from 2008-2009, this year improvements had been slight.

The average total weight of packaging for an Easter egg fell by just 3.8% on last year, dropping from 52.8g to 49g. But between 2008 and 2009 excessive packaging was cut by 36%, from 82.6g to 52.8g.

Ms Swinson said packaging regulations, which require producers to limit the volume and weight of packaging to the “minimum amount ­necessary”, were in most cases still not being met.

“Manufacturers such as Guylian and Lindt have a long way to go before meeting these requirements,” she said. “The fact that Cadbury and others sell millions of eggs and other Easter ­confectionery with only foil wrapping clearly demonstrates that the giant boxes produced by Guylian and Lindt are not the minimum necessary at all.”

Ms Swinson said the Government was failing to enforce the law that requires manufacturers to use ­minimal packaging.

Her research revealed that Sainsbury’s had the most efficient packaging while Nestle had the only egg whose packaging was 100% widely recycled.

Meanwhile, holiday­makers hoping for chocolate bargains could find airport duty free more expensive than supermarkets. Treats such as a 400g bar of Toblerone can cost as much as £5 in duty free compared with £2 at Asda, according to analysis by the shopping comparison site mySupermarket.co.uk.

A 400g box of Cadbury Roses cost £5.50 in duty free compared with £2.69 at Sainsbury’s, and a 400g Lindor box cost £10.50 at duty free against £6 at Ocado.

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