The news in 2018 has been dominated by the outrage over the amount of plastic and eco-unfriendly waste polluting the ocean. Plastic straws were, for the most part, at the forefront of the war on plastic. However, earlier this year attentions turned to Walkers Crisps, whose packets were not bio-degradable or recyclable. The hashtag ‘PacketInWalkers’ began appearing across social media, and soon our attention was focused on finding a more environmentally friendly way to enjoy our snacks.
#PacketInWalkers – Recycle Our Crisp Packets!
Walkers are responsible for creating and packaging a plethora or crisps, including Sunbites, Wotsits and Quavers, all of which are made with packaging that is unsuitable for the recycle bin. Across the company, over 4bn packets are made every year and won’t decompose for a very long time. In fact, thirty-year-old crisp packets have even been found in perfect condition according to the Cleaner Seas Project.
This unsavoury fact left a bitter taste in the mouths of campaigners, who began posting their empty crisp packets back to Walkers HQ in a bid for their parent company, PepsiCo to switch the package materials. PepsiCo initially responded by saying they were unable to do anything until 2025, by which point they aim to make brand-wide packaging less harmful to the environment.
This wasn’t enough for protesters who continued mailing their empty crisp packets to Walkers and amassed over 300,000 signatures through an online petition.
Here's one small thing you can right now to make a difference #recycleweek. By the time @walkers_crisps goes plastic free in 2025 they’ll have produced 28 billion more bags of crisps. https://t.co/H0hM2HnFgv #packetinwalkers
— 38 Degrees (@38_degrees) September 24, 2018
Don’t be a couch potato
The start of December saw the start of advent, and the beginning of a new recycling scheme set up by Walkers. Working together with TerraCycle, an independent recycling company, PepsiCo are encouraging their customers to drop their empty crisp packets off at one of their 190 locations in the UK.
The used packaging will be shred into plastic pellets which will, in turn, be used in items such as outdoor furniture and trays. Even Michael Gove has backed the new scheme which was implemented on 3rd December 2018.
Although PepsiCo insist that this isn’t a PR stunt, many recycling centres are based in the South of England and some could be travelling miles just to send their crisp packets off through TerraCycle. The nearest one to us here at Viva towers is around fifteen miles away in Trawden.
Is it crunch time for Walkers?
What do you think? Is this just a PR scheme from Walkers to appease their audience, or do you think this is a step in the right direction? Recycling is something I think we can all back, and hopefully other companies who produce harmful waste will consider something similar.
You can find your closest Walkers TerraCycle recycling drop-off point here.
Nic | Junior Accounts Executive