Reuse Me! Confectioners encourage reuse in the home, but not in manufacture.

plastic sweet tubs
If you’re like me, you’ll often find a use for those empty plastic sweet tubs which fill our home post Christmas.

reuse plastic tubs
This year I’ve decided to replace the beaten up mishmash of boxes I store my Christmas decorations in for some airtight plastic storage tubs – keeping my decs safe and dry whilst ensuring my boxes don’t end up in landfill.


Yes, you may be surprised to learn that many of the popular sweet tubs on the market are NOT recyclable.

As you’ll see from these few examples, none of them can be recycled – they merely advise us to dispose of thoughtfully (!) as indicated by the ‘Tidyman’ symbol.

Haribo sweet tub


Quality Street plastic tubSo what are these confectionary giants doing to reduce their waste?

Well it’d seem not that much.

The best effort I’ve seen is from Mars, who, as a Courtauld Commitment Signatory, has been working with WRAP – Circular Economy & Resource Efficiency Experts – to save materials in their packaging.

Celebrations 'green' packagingReplacing their metal tin for a lighter, smaller plastic tub, Mars have been able to reduce the weight of the packaging by 46%, representing a materials savings of 794 tons per year. (Greener Packaging)

The new tub has also been designed to encourage reuse – dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe it’s ideal for saving food waste.

The other sweet manufacturers simply communicate that we should reuse – in fact Nestle asks us the question …

Quality Street plastic tub
So Mars, Nestle and Haribo I have two questions that I would like to pose:

1. Why are you using raw materials to manufacture your sweet tubs when recycled plastic is better for the environment, both from a manufacturing point of view and end use?

2. Why are your sweet tubs non-recyclable ?

In my humble opinion a product which is made from recycled or sustainable materials, that can be reused and/or recycled for a second life is the route organisations like these should be striving for.

What are your thoughts, do you agree?

Have you another example of a product which encourages reuse but is made from raw, non recycled/recyclable materials. Let me know, I’d love to hear.

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