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Cadbury cites eco concerns for tin swap

By Jane Byrne , 05-Nov-2009

Confectionery giant Cadbury is playing up its sustainability initiatives in its seasonal packaging to appeal to consumer demand for a 'green' Christmas.

A switch to square, recyclable cardboard boxes instead of metal tins for the festive range of its brands, Roses and Heroes, will achieves a reduction in packaging weight of 45 per cent and a saving of more than 200 tonnes of steel, claims Cadbury.

A spokesperson for the company told ConfectioneryNews.com that there are a number of factors which need to be taken into consideration when measuring the cost and carbon footprint of any manufactured goods.

"Transportation and storage are obviously key factors in the wider calculation which is why weight of materials can play such a significant role," he said.

The spokesperson added that the volume and price of the festive range remains the same, despite the weight reduction.

The company said it is awaiting consumer feedback on the new format prior to rolling it out more widely and is currently trialling the cardboard boxes with UK retailer, Tesco.

The move is part of the chocolate maker’s wider environmental strategy, which includes a pledge to reduce packaging of seasonal and gifting products by 25 per cent by 2010, stated Cadbury.

The confectioner said it is aiming to have all paperboard packaging to be sourced from certificated sustainable forest sources by 2010, and is also implementing an average 32 per cent packaging reduction across its selection box range, the equivalent of 1,352 trees, according to the manufacturer.

Chocolate makers have come under fire for using unnecessary packaging on seasonal promotions, especially Easter eggs.

Nestle UK recently announced the removal of the plastic inserts from its selection boxes. The plastic inserts had held the chocolate bars in place and have now been replaced by a card presentation tray, making the boxes easily recyclable.

The wrappers for the bars themselves are not suitable for recycling but consumers will be able to recycle the empty boxes once they have polished off the chocolates this Christmas.

Last year, Nestle reduced the size of Christmas selection boxes by 40 per cent and now the company has shaved off a further 17 and 20 per cent respectively off the weight of medium and large selection boxes.

Mark Barthel from UK government funded agency Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) said that it was encouraged to see that Cadbury is continuing to innovate and reduce the packaging across its product ranges:

“Over the festive season, when the amount of waste sent to landfill increases significantly, it’s good to see Cadbury and Tesco working together to help consumers and the environment.”