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Eggstraordinary €24m splurge

AN Easter binge will see Irish people consume 1,000 tonnes of chocolate this weekend.

The average person will eat 2.13 eggs, meaning that the total number of chocolate treats will hit a massive 9.5 million.

But while most won't be thinking about their waistline for at least 24 hours, we are set to take in enough calories to light a 100-watt bulb continuously for 30.4 hours.

And if all Easter chocolate consumed was converted into euro coins in weight, it would pay the household charge 16 million times over.

According to figures released today, consumption of Easter eggs increased by 3.4pc last year, with cash-strapped shoppers spending €24.2m on eggs alone.

But it's not just food that we'll be gorging on, as the statistics show Irish homes will drink 6.5 million litres of wine -- much of it at Good Friday parties.

Another 15 million litres of beer is expected to be drunk before most offices reopen on Tuesday, which is enough to fill six full-size Olympic swimming pools.

But with all those eggs and drinks comes tonnes of packaging -- and today Repak has pleaded with people to think carefully about what they do with the waste.

Last year they managed to set a record by recycling around 18,300 tonnes of the 32,000 tonnes of packaging generated over the holiday period.

Now the body has a target to recycle between 15,000 and 16,000 tonnes, allowing for a decrease in consumption versus previous years.

"Ireland has made major progress in packaging recycling in the past decade and the most recent comparative figures from the EU show that Ireland is recovering 152kg per capita of packaging waste, the third highest in the EC behind Germany and Luxembourg," said Dr Andrew Hetherington CEO of Repak.

"Easter is a time of added consumption with just under 500 tonnes of used Easter packaging alone, however this is not all of the packaging produced. We would ask every Irish household to help us smash our annual target of recycling 11kgs per capita or approximately 50pc of all household packaging."

Dr Hetherington added: "We are delighted with the progress made by most manufacturers who have reduced their Easter egg packaging by over 25pc over the last number of years while increasing their recyclability."