Feel Better about Chocolate – Well Done Thorntons!

So, what do you get if you cross a well known chocolate brand with a thought for sustainability? A 22% reduction in Easter packaging, apparently!

Thornton’s usual email newsletter today came with a sweet ending – a declaration that they have reduced their packaging in all their Easter products by 22%, saving 73 tonnes. A look at their website reveals that this is not all – the cartons are now made with FSC certified board, the eggs’ film wrap is biodegradable, and the plastic used is a minimum 50% recycled material.

Certainly, this is very commendable, if every brand took as positive a step in the right direction then there would be significant change. Not least with Easter Eggs, surely one of the most ludicrous packaging-to-product ratios imaginable – the usual waste in a family household on Easter Sunday brings tears to the eyes.

But why are they doing it? Actually, Thorntons have a strong CSR policy, within which they are incorporating quite a lot of sustainability changes in the supply chain (eg backhauling with lorries so no empty journeys, thermally insulated containers rather than refridgerated lorries, etc).

But this may be the first time they have gone public with a claim, and clearly it was hard for them to decide what to say – The email says


Here at Thorntons we’ve reduced our Easter packaging by a whopping 22%, which is equal to 73 tonnes of packaging waste saved.

A massive leap from waste packaging to lower carbon footprint? It is a truth, based on cradle-to-grave impact of packaging, but will consumers understand it? Perhaps its a case of not requiring explanation – the more consumers see a connection between reducing waste and reducing carbon, the more they will understand without needing to know how. And whilst not everyone understands ‘carbon footprint’, the number is growing steadily, and more brands using the terminology (correctly in this case) can’t hurt….

So in the meantime, lets enjoy Easter Eggs with a little less packaging – Go Thorntons!