Connect with us


Up to half of Christmas chocolate box weight is packaging



Wrappers and packaging can make up almost half the weight of Christmas chocolates, a study has found.

Which? looked at some of the most popular sweet treats in the run up to Christmas and found the Ferrero Rocher tray was the worst offender in terms of packaging.

Of the total weight of the tray, 42% was packaging, and just 11% of that is recyclable.

Coming in second was the Thorntons Continental Selection, of which the packaging was 29.4% of the weight. Third was Cadbury Milk Tray which was 22.6%.

But Thorntons and Cadbury’s offerings have more easily recyclable packaging. In the continental selection, 87% can be recycled, and in the Milk Tray, 93% can be.

Lindor were the top chocolates for least packaging
Lindor were the top chocolates for recycling

At the other end, Which? found that Lindt Lindor was the most environmentally friendly in terms of packaging with only the chocolate wrappers themselves not recyclable.

Marks and Spencers’ The Big One had the least packaging by weight at 8.5%. Of their packaging, 71% can be recycled.

The survey by Which? found nearly half of people misidentified the green dot on packaging as meaning it was recyclable. In fact, the dot means the manufacturer pays into a recycling scheme.

Instead consumers should look out for a green chasing arrows triangle symbol.

Nikki Stopford, director of research and publishing at Which? said: “For many of us the indulgent look of these festive chocolate boxes is synonymous with the Christmas season.

“We are more aware than ever of the impact that we’re having on the world around us so we want our research to help people to make the right choices for them and to understand how to dispose of packaging in the most eco-friendly manner.”

Ferrero said: “Ferrero Collection is a delicately created product and the packaging is of fundamental importance to protect our chocolates from damage during transport, in the shops and at home.

“The box used for Ferrero Collection can be recycled only when the local infrastructure allows to do so but in the UK this is still not available. We are aware that some consumers like to reuse the boxes in fun and creative ways like those suggested on our website.”

Thorntons said: “Thorntons Continental packaging has been updated with a new hermetic tray seal, which ensures product freshness and avoids cross flavour tainting from the most intense tastes as Espresso or Sicilian Mousse.

“We are always reviewing our product range to ensure that we offer our consumers high quality taste experience.”

A Cadbury spokesman said: “Without robust packaging, the shelf life of many products would be far shorter and could create more food waste which is 10 times more detrimental to the environment than plastic.

“We have managed to make substantial progress to minimise the environmental impact of packaging by developing products that are 100% recyclable, depending on your local recycling facilities, while also protecting the product inside and keeping it fresh.”

Consumers who want to recycle foil wrappers should bundle them into a ball at least 4cm in diameter to make sure it can be identified at the recycling centre.

Many plastic tubs containing chocolates are made from PET 1, the same type of plastic as in water and soft drinks bottles, meaning it can be recycled.

More from Sky Ocean Rescue

According to Kantar Worldpanel, sales of chocolates and brussel sprouts reached £292m and £18m in November as shoppers prepared for the run-up to Christmas.

:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at

Advertisement Find your dream job