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Easter Egg Packaging Plastic, foil and cardboard

How to Recycle

Seven ways to recycle at Easter

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Easter is a time for indulging in chocolate eggs and other delicious things, but the treats we enjoy at this time of year bring with them more than their fair share of rubbish! The good news is that you can have a waste-free Easter by recycling as much as possible. Here are seven of the top things you can recycle at Easter.

1. Easter egg foil

Many Easter eggs come wrapped in pretty foil, which many people aren’t sure whether they can recycle. Happily, you can! Simply scrunch the foil into a loose ball along with any other bits of used foil (including from smaller eggs) and pop it into your normal recycling bin for collection. If it springs back open when you try to scrunch it, this means it’s laminated and should go in your general rubbish bin.

Pile of purple, pink, orange and blue foil wrapped Easter eggs.

2. Easter egg packaging

If you can, choose Easter eggs that come in less packaging, or at least in recyclable packaging – there’s a lot more of it around these days! Inevitably, you’re still likely to end up with a large quantity of cardboard boxes and possibly some plastic trays. These can go in your kerbside recycling for collection, but remember to flatten them to save space.

3. Gift basket wrapping and sweet wrappers

If you’ve received an Easter gift basket wrapped in plastic cellophane, this wrapping, unfortunately, can’t go into your main recycling bin in most parts of the country (though they’re working on this!). The same goes for plastic sweet wrappers. However, all is not lost! You can take them all to a local supermarket for recycling along with plastic bags and other types of wrapping. Find your nearest participating store using our Recycling Locator, and read more about what types of wrapping you can recycle in our article on how to recycle plastic bags and wrapping.

A blue plastic bag with bags inside it hanging on a door

4. Easter cards

While they’re not as common as Christmas cards, many people do still send Easter cards. Once you’re done displaying them, these can be recycled at home, along with their envelopes, in your recycling bin, providing they don’t have glitter or foil on them, in which case they should go in your general waste bin.

5. Easter Food

Easter is a time when, a bit like Christmas, there’s a lot of food around the house that can easily go to waste if we’ve overestimated how much we’re going to need. Of course, there are lots of tasty ways to use up surplus Easter food – head over to our friends at Love Food Hate Waste for some delicious Easter leftovers inspiration. But what about the food waste you can’t eat, such as egg shells (not the chocolate kind!) or the base of a lettuce? These can go in your food waste caddy, if you have one, and you can also refer to our advice on recycling inedible food waste for more on what you can recycle. Of course, if you have a real-life Easter bunny, rabbits love carrot tops and spring greens, so that’s an even better way to use them!

Plates piled up with food waste

6. Hot cross bun packaging

Hot cross buns usually come in plastic wrapping with a cardboard inner to hold the buns. You can recycle the plastic wrapping at your nearest participating supermarket, in the same way as the gift basket cellophane we’ve just discussed, but remember to get rid of any bits of hot cross bun stuck to it! As for the cardboard, this can go in your normal recycling bin for kerbside collection, but remember to remove as much of the food residue as you can (hot cross buns are notoriously sticky!), as this can cause contamination.

7. Flowers

Finally, if you’ve decorated your Easter table with some beautiful spring blooms, remember that these can go in your garden waste bin when they’ve passed their best – or on your compost heap, if you have one. The same goes for branches, if you’ve made an Easter tree table centrepiece. Remember to remove any egg decorations before it goes in the bin and save them for next year!

Juice cartons and leftover breakfast items with flowers

Check what you can recycle with our Recycling Locator

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