Campaign group calls on Walkers to change to recyclable crisp packets
THE UK’s biggest crisp brand, Walkers, which has a manufacturing site in Skelmersdale, came under pressure this week to explain why it is helping to fuel plastic waste pollution by producing more than 7,000 non-recyclable crisp packets every minute.
Campaign group 38 Degrees was due to present a 290,000-name petition yesterday (Tuesday, August 7) to Walkers’ parent company PepsiCo calling for them and other companies to stop using plastic packaging for their crisp packaging.
38 Degrees say they want to see the packets made from recycled products or preferably non-plastic environmentally-friendly material.
The petition which was started by Geraint Ashcroft of Cardiff who met with senior executives from PepsiCo, states: “We call upon Walkers and other manufacturers to change the materials for their packets to one which is recyclable or even more preferably a non-plastic environmentally friendly material.
“Currently the majority of crisp packets in the UK and Worldwide are not recyclable so they have to go to landfill. As a nation the UK alone consumes approximately six billion packets a year. Imagine what the figure would be for Europe or worldwide. That's an awful lot of landfill and poison for the environment.
“Crisp packets have been found intact after 33 years. Imagine during that time the effect on wildlife and the environment.
“At today’s consumption rate in 33 years time there will be 200 billion crisp packets either sent to landfill or polluting our oceans. Many will be ingested by animals, fish or birds leading to a slow lingering death.”
Brands produced at the company’s Skelmersdale site in Pennine Place, near to the M58 motorway in West Pimbo include Walkers crisps, Monster Munch, Walkers Baked and Snack a Jacks.
A PepsiCo spokesperson said: “We are committed to achieving 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging by 2025.
“We have a number of initiatives in place to reduce the amount of packaging we use and at the same time we’re examining the use of different packaging materials, both plant and paper-based.
“We are also investing in research and development to explore options to improve the recyclability of our packs. We don’t have all the answers yet, which is why we’re collaborating with a number of leaders in this area to learn and share the latest science and practical solutions.”