Walkers, owned by PepsiCo UK and headquartered in Leicester, is to start what the company is billing as the first nationwide recycling scheme for crisp packets. The move follows a series of protests about the volume of crisp packets going to landfill.
Following on from an earlier announcement, Walkers is still planning to introduce fully recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packets by 2025.
The recycling plan will be operated on behalf of Walkers by TerraCycle, a series recycler which currently operates in 20 countries. The company recycles a variety of materials, including laminated plastics and aluminium. The recycling programme for crisp packets will be open to other brands and other packaging types will also be accepted, including the tubes used for Pringles crisps.
Customers will be able to drop the empty packets at any TerraCycle collection point. Alternatively, the crisp packets can be posted back to the recycler. This is mildly ironic, as some campaigners had been stuffing empty crisp packets into Royal Mail letter boxes in hopes they would be returned to the snack manufacturer.
Each week, Britons consume an estimated 60 million packets of crisps. It is estimated that Walkers alone produces between seven and 11 million packets per day. The company is said to have a 50% market share in the UK.