Zero Waste Chocolate!

Isn’t it a shame that all of the chocolate manufacturers that we grew up with has traded their paper packaging for plastic? It’s almost impossible to get your all times favorites like Hershey’s bars with the familiar foil and paper packaging of our youth.

I noticed this shocking fact more recently when trying to buy chocolate bars for my niece’s’ first birthday party. We bought beautiful paper wrappers as a keepsake but there were no candy bars in sight that we could swap out their paper wrappers. It’s a shame.

When we’re buying for ourselves as home, we but higher quality chocolate because we love it and can afford it. But the average person can’t and won’t invest 4€ in a candy bar just to be plastic free. Nor should they have to. Especially if they are going to give it to a kid.

How to avoid plastic chocolate packaging

Going to your local pharmacy or supermarket is going to prove difficult. But there are excellent ways to avoid a lot of plastic or even plastic all together.

  1. Buy a family pack. I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. But the individual packages come with a heafy orange plastic wrapper. Buying the fun pack or mini Reese’s Cups avoids a lot of plastic and leave us with recyclable foil and paper wrappers.
  2. Look for boxes. You’re not going to be able to find every candy you love in a cardboard box, but many do some in packs made for the movie theatres. This is a great recyclable option.
  3. Go to your local candy shop. You’ll pay by weight, but you can also bring your own cloth or paper bag to stock up on goodies.
  4. Check the bulk shop. Many bulk stores also carry chocolate bars. They might even be homemade and much healthier than traditional options.
  5. Make your own. In that same bulk store you can get chocolate chips and dried fruits and nuts. Try your hand at making your own bars (instructions below!). It’s easy and fun. A great activity with kids.

Specialty chocolate, how to avoid the plastic

Even if you are investing in higher quality, more expensive chocolate bars. It doesn’t mean you will automatically have higher quality packaging materials.

  • If items are boxed, make sure they are not secretly hiding plastic beneath. I have found this on more than one occasion to my disappointment.
  • Avoid mixes materials. If that foil crumbles down into a ball it’s recyclable. Otherwise, it might be mixes with another material even paper that could make it nonrecyclable because it is mixed material.

Making your own chocolate bars

There are no special moulds or materials needed to make your own chocolate bars. You can use a bar you already have in your kitchen, or even a plater or tray.

Ingredients: chocolate nibs or flakes or grater chocolate bars, whatever addition you like (nuts, coconut shavings, dried fruit, etc.)

Tools: Two pots to create a double boiler, pan or tray, and compostable or recyclable baking paper, spatula

  1. Line the bottom of your try with baking paper. You can recycle this later.
  2. Fill the bottom of the larger pot with water. Place the smaller pot inside and fill with chocolate bits.
  3. Boil the water in the bottom in order to melt the chocolate, stir out any lumps
  4. When the chocolate is completely melted, pour into your tray (using the spatula to get every last bit out)
  5. Add the toppings being sure to get it evenly throughout your chocolate
  6. Let cool for 15-20 minutes or until you chocolate is completely cool
  7. Break apart and enjoy!

Yummm! What secrets do you have for zero waste chocolate? I’d love to know in the comments!

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