Walkers launch crisp packet recycling scheme after postal protest

Walkers launch crisp packet recycling scheme after campaign

Walkers launch crisp packet recycling scheme after campaign

Consumers can now visit 191 drop off points around the United Kingdom with their empty packets, though some may face a long trip.

That is the number of crisp packets that United Kingdom consumers munch their way through every year.

After an online campaign which saw anti-plastic campaigners post 300,000 crisp bags to Walkers, the company has launched a first-of-its-kind recycling scheme. The news follows a public campaign against plastic waste earlier this year by snack fans.

Campaigners had called on consumers to post the non-recyclable crisp bags back to the manufacturer and celebrate their environmentally-conscious act on social media.

The packets will then be sent to TerraCycle who will clean and shred them ready to be made into small plastic pellets, which will be used to make everyday items such as outdoor furniture.

Walkers is now asking customers to collect a batch of packets and drop them off at a collection points manned by volunteers - but with only 191 participating collection points around the United Kingdom this could be a long journey.

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Walkers was targeted for their crisp packaging, with people posting their crisp packets for Royal Mail to sort, causing widespread issues.

If there isn't a drop-off point nearby, residents can download a label from the TerraCycle website and arrange to have the packets collected from their home, by courier, free of charge.

The scheme has won the approval of Michael Gove, the environment secretary.

"This is the first crisp packet recycling scheme in the United Kingdom and it will only work if everyone gets collecting and sending in, which is why we've made the scheme as simple as possible and free". Packaging from any crisp brand will be accepted. The company had previously stated that it would not be able to transition to recyclable packets up until 2025. "TerraCycle are ideal partners now participating in several other material recovery schemes around the world".

Following months of consumer protests against its hard-to-recycle packaging, which typically consists of a flexible plastic layer and metallised film, PepsiCo subsidiary Walkers has opened the scheme's first collection points today.

"The scheme is very much a "first base" in the waste hierarchy and not a place where most big brands will be content. This is more poignant at the moment while we have the big discussion at COP24 going on".

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