Call to recycle more as €30m of Easter eggs to be eaten

Oxfam warns over treatment of women cocoa workers earning less than €2 per day

Six Easter eggs per household are expected to be eaten this weekend. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Six Easter eggs per household are expected to be eaten this weekend. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Fri, Mar 29, 2013, 14:15

Irish households have been urged to recycle more packaging from the 12m Easter eggs to be consumed in the coming days as Oxfam has warned over treatment of cocoa workers.

Oxfam Ireland said today that women farmers who supply cocoa for some chocolate products will fail to benefit from the multimillion Easter bonanza.

It has called on Cadbury's parent company Mondelez International to address unequal pay, poverty and hunger that women farmers who supply cocoa for their products experience.

Earlier this week Mars and Nestle announced steps to begin to address the issues but Mondelez has yet to make such commitments, it said.

“Easter is an enormously important holiday for chocolate sales and Mondelez stands to profit immensely, yet many women cocoa farmers are earning just €1.56 a day” said Jim Clarken Oxfam Ireland chief executive said.

Oxfam said its recent investigation showed some women in cocoa supply chains are paid less than half of their male counterparts earning €1.50 to €2.25 per day.

Meanwhile Irish people have been urged to recycle more of the 500 tonnes of packaging they will generate from some €30m of Easter Eggs in the coming days.

Repak said some 35,000 tonnes of used packaging will be generated during Easter, 15 per cent more than a normal month.

Last year 21,000 tonnes of household packaging was recycled over Easter, a 14 per cent increase in recycling. It wants to see this figure increased to 22,500 tonnes this year.

However it said Easter egg packaging only accounted for less than 2 per cent of the packaging used over Easter.

Among the additional treats contributing to the extra Easter waste are boxes of chocolate s, packaged croissants and pancakes, preseves, lamb and turkey as well as wine and spirits.

Repak praised efforts by chocolate firms to reduce packaging by 25 per cent in recent years. “We are delighted that many confectionery companies have been making continuous efforts to reduce their environmental impact by not only funding producer recycling schemes like Repak, but also by driving packaging reduction initiatives on their confectionery product,” Repak spokesman Darrell Crowe said.