Going low waste this Easter? “Hop” to it with our top tips

Easter is synonymous with delicious chocolate treats and sharing meals, love and laughter with family and friends. But celebrations and gift-giving are often accompanied by a whole lot of waste – from packaging, cards and gift wrapping to leftover or unused food.
But that doesn’t have to be the case - you can make meaningful changes!

Whether you’re looking to go zero waste, plastic-free, or simply make an effort to be more mindful of your Easter waste, it’s simpler than you might think. And it can be an egg-cellent opportunity to explore – and model for those around you – a more sustainable way of living.

Read on for some great ideas on how you can create less waste, reuse more, and ensure that what does go into our bins has the best chance of becoming a valuable new resource in the circular economy.

Think first: is it really necessary?

Choosing to refuse is the first line of defence against waste. When planning your Easter gift-giving, consider whether buying commercially-produced, overly packaged products is the best option.

Why not try some DIY? There’s so much you can do yourself at home, and a quick Google put a vast array of ideas at your fingertips. Get all the family involved in making delicious handmade Easter eggs, hot cross buns and other treats. There’s no need to buy special equipment if you don’t have it on hand; get creative with what you have – for example, a silicone mini muffin tray makes a perfect chocolate mould. Leave the single-use decorations at the bargain store and get crafty; paint or dye some hard-boiled eggs, make a wreath from garden cuttings, or upstyle a reusable shopping bag into a perfect egg-collecting basket for the tiny treat hunters in your life.

Choose wisely. When you can’t refuse, then the next best thing is to reduce. Each year in Australia, only 9% of plastic is recycled while 84% ends up in landfill, and the rest litters our land and waterways. Opt for minimally packaged items without plastic casings, or hit up your local bulk store and fill your own containers – often, this will save you money too. Send Easter e-cards rather than mailing traditional paper cards. Plan carefully for food gifts and family feasts, and shop according to how much you genuinely need rather than buying excess food that will likely go to waste.

Give Easter waste a second life

At SUEZ, we believe that a sustainable and holistic approach to managing waste is key to a better future for people and the planet. Our advanced facilities and processes are uniquely designed to harness the value in your waste and preserve natural resources – and your Easter waste is no different.

Easter recycling made easy. When you place paper and cardboard such as Easter egg packaging in your yellow bin, we take it to one of our specialised processing facilities. Here, it is sorted and baled before pulping, screened, de-inked and dried before being rolled out as clean new paper product for reuse in manufacturing.

Plastic is everywhere, with around 300 million tonnes produced globally each year – filling up landfills and oceans and harming marine life. But you can prevent your Easter plastics from adding to the problem if you correctly separate and recycle them. Hard plastics such as PET packaging from your Easter eggs or drink containers can be placed in your yellow bin to be recycled into new plastic products. Soft plastics, such as plastic wrap around chocolate boxes or Easter eggs or the plastic foil wrappings around sweets, can be taken to your local RedCycle drop-off point. Check packaging labels for guidance, and if in doubt, head to your local Council’s website or Planet Ark’s RecyclingNearYou for advice.

And don’t forget the foil! Did you know that the aluminium foil wrapping on Easter eggs is recyclable? Just be sure to crumple it up together into a ball – at least the size of a golf ball – before placing it in your yellow bin. This enables it to be more easily picked up and separated from other recyclable waste streams in the sorting process.

Don’t waste your food. Around 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by food waste. This Easter, you can be part of the solution by separating food and garden organics from general waste. At our specialised Organic Resource Recovery Facilities, we turn this otherwise harmful waste into compost, soil conditioner and mulch products for use in agriculture, landscaping and more. Check your local Council website to find out about food and garden organics collections in your area.

So what happens to what's left?

Sending waste to landfill is the absolute last resort – but even there, it can still generate valuable new resources.

At SUEZ, we believe in making the very best use of every resource. Our highly-engineered smart cells® are a sophisticated and sustainable alternative to traditional landfill, using leading-edge technologies to capture twice as much biogas from non-recoverable waste.

Every year, our smart cells® produce enough electricity to power more than 47,000 homes and avoid 1.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

So as you can see, with a little mindfulness and thinking outside the Easter egg box, you can celebrate Easter with all the trimmings, but without the impact on the planet. Discover more of our smart ideas for sustainable living, or learn how we process all kinds of waste into valuable new resources.