Ireland expected to recycle over 62,000 tonnes of packaging this Easter

Repak encourages the public to become egg-cellent recyclers by segregating and recycling their waste this Easter 

·       80% expect to indulge in a milk chocolate Easter egg, with only 4% seeking vegan or plant-based chocolate eggs 

·       The quality of chocolate is the leading motivating factor when it comes to purchasing Easter eggs 

·       59% will only purchase chocolate eggs whereas 30% plan to give an alternative gift alongside their Easter eggs 

·       88% are confident in their recycling abilities when it comes to disposing of Easter egg packaging 

·       However, despite this confidence only 52% actually know what belongs in the recycling bin. 

·       Repak is encouraging the public to make sure they recycle all packaging from Easter eggs and gifts this year  

This Easter, Irish residents are expected to recycle over 62,000 tonnes of packaging waste – a 1.8% increase on the 60,900 tonnes recycled in 2023. Easter marks one of the busiest times of the year across the country for waste recovery operators, which is why it’s so important that all packaging including cardboard boxes, plastic moulds, chocolate trays and clean tin foil are all placed in the recycling bin clean, dry and loose.  

New research* commissioned by environmental not-for-profit organisation, Repak, surveyed 1,000 adults in Ireland on their Easter spending, recycling habits and knowledge of what can be recycled. 

Recycling habits at Easter 

An overwhelming majority (88%) said that they felt confident in their recycling abilities when it comes to disposing Easter egg packaging. However, when asked how much of their Easter egg packaging they would recycle, just three in five (59%) stated they planned to recycle all of it. A quarter (25%) said they would recycle the cardboard box and plastic insert, while one in ten said they would only recycle the outer cardboard packaging. Just 2% said they didn’t plan to recycle at all.  

Timeless traditions 

The age-old tradition of gifting Easter eggs remains popular, with over a third (37%) planning to buy between 3-5 chocolate eggs, and a quarter (25%) planning to buy eight or more this year, while 28% will buy at least one Easter egg for themselves. Over a quarter (28%) hope to receive at least one Easter egg, with a third (32%) hoping to receive two or more.  

Easter is also all about family, with 83% planning to spend the long weekend with loved ones, with 7% saying they’ll be going out for a meal, 4% planning to take a trip abroad, and 4% going on a staycation in Ireland to mark the weekend. 

Milk chocolate on top, and most of us crack into Easter eggs ahead of time  

Milk chocolate remains the Easter egg of choice for the majority (80%) of people. That said, 22% also hope to receive a white chocolate egg, followed by dark chocolate (20%). More than a quarter (27%) have admitted to already cracking into an Easter egg, with a further quarter (23%) planning to indulge ahead of Easter Sunday.  

The quality of chocolate ranks highest in terms of importance when choosing an Easter egg (38%), followed by the type of chocolate (26%), price (20%) and size (6%).  

Easter spending habits 

This year, over a quarter (27%) will spend more money on Easter eggs than last year, while more than half (57%) will spend the same and 16% plan to spend less. 22% will spend between €16-€25 on Easter eggs, 21% plan to spend between €26-€40, and a third (33%) will spend more than €41.  

A quarter will spend less than €15 on Easter eggs this year. In 2023**, 32% spent between €21-€41 on Easter eggs, which shows a slight drop in spending, despite a quarter (25%) of people planning to buy eight or more Easter eggs for others.  

Alternative gifting remains popular this year, with 30% stating that they will buy both chocolate eggs and gifts this year. Gifts that people are giving include toys (32%), flowers (29%), vouchers (24%), books (24%) and cards (23%). 

General recycling habits 

Waste segregation, separating waste into their correct bins, is key to effective recycling to ensure we are all contributing to a circular economy and reducing our environmental impact – especially around occasions like Easter which generate more waste.  

Almost three quarters (71%) said they always segregate their waste, with a fifth (22%) saying they often do, and just 2% admitting to rarely or never segregating their waste at home.  

But it’s the act that really matters. Surprisingly, despite 88% initially saying they were confident in their recycling abilities, just over half (52%) correctly answered what items can go in the recycling bin which includes plastic containers, plastic water bottles, plastic shopping bags, paper, cardboard, tins, cans and foil – once they are clean, dry and loose.  

Although confidence in the nation’s ability to recycle correctly is high, a high proportion don’t know exactly what can go in our recycling bins. Since 2021, all plastics can go into the recycling bin. 

This Easter, Repak is calling on the public to continue to recycle all types of packaging and, in particular, packaging from Easter Eggs and gifts. Cardboard boxes, plastic moulds, chocolate trays, clean tin foil and egg boxes can all be recycled, once they are clean, dry and loose.  

Commenting on the research, Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak said:   

“Although many of us are excited to settle down for a long weekend of Easter festivities with friends and family, it is important to remember that this is a particularly busy time of year for waste operators across the country.  

It is wonderful to see that so many of us are confident in our recycling abilities with 88% having great intentions when it comes to waste management, but the research shows there are still some gaps in what we think can and can’t go in our recycling bin.  

This year we continue to encourage the public to play their part and segregate their waste correctly by ensuring only recyclable items go in the recycling bin clean, dry, and loose. If we make a concerted effort as a team, we will be able to successfully contribute to a circular economy, protect our environment, and build on our recycling habits.” 

Re-imagine your waste this Easter 

Repak have also shared some of their top tips to help you re-imagine your waste this Easter. 

1.       Re-imagine Easter egg boxes this season and re-use for arts and crafts. Make sure egg cartons are clean, dry and placed loosely into the recycle bin when disposing of them. 

2.       Chocolate trays are rigid plastic and can be placed in your recycling bin. Once you enjoy that last piece of chocolate, make sure you bin it right! 

3.       Once you’ve enjoyed all your chocolate eggs, be sure to dispose of the cardboard boxes into the recycle bin – clean, dry and loose.  

For more recycling hints and tips, visit to find out more.  

 * refers to an omnibus survey of 1,000 Irish residents conducted by 3Gem in March 2024 

** refers to an omnibus survey of 1,000 Irish residents conducted by 3Gem in March 2022 

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