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Image / Editorial

Walkers crisp packets to be recycled following social media protest


by Grace McGettigan
11th Dec 2018

Pepsico, the makers of Walkers crisps, have confirmed they’re launching a “free and simple way to recycle” its crisp packets. It comes after a widespread social media campaign and postal protest.

The protest

Using the hashtag #PacketInWalkers, environmental activists called upon the snack food giant to introduce recyclable packaging. What’s more, consumers went on to share photos of themselves posting empty crisp packets back to Walkers (so much so, the Royal Mail was forced to ask people to put their packets in envelopes).

Approximately 11 million Walkers crisp packets are produced every day, and as the material can’t be recycled, all of these are sent to landfill. More than 300,000 people signed an online petition urging Walkers to change their ways – and fast.

Walkers’ response

In a statement shared on the company’s website, Walkers said, “We understand the responsibility we have to reduce the impact of our packaging on the environment, and we’re on it!

“At the moment, the packaging we use is the best way to keep our crisps crunchy and delicious. However, we’re aiming to make all our packaging 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.

“In the meantime, we’ve partnered with recyclers TerraCycle to make it easier to recycle our crisp packets and reduce the impact we have on the environment.”

How it works

Consumers can now drop their empty crisp packets at designated collection points, where they will be sent to TerraCycle; a private recycling firm based in New Jersey, USA. Here, the packets will be shredded into plastic pellets, which can then be used to make items such as plant pots, park benches and watering cans.

Before dropping off your empty packets, all you have to do is make sure they’re clean (of crumbs, etc.). Moreover, Walkers have requested people bring their packets in bulk, rather than bringing one or two packets at a time.

Organisers said, “If you’re struggling to get to a collection point, we can arrange for a courier to collect your packets free of charge, or you can take them to your nearest courier drop-off point. You’ll need at least 400 packets, so it’s best to club together with family, friends and colleagues.”

Photo: Walkers via Facebook

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