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Walkers unveils recycling-by-post scheme

Walkers is using the post to deliver a nationwide recycling scheme for crisp packets following criticism from campaigners over the impact of its packaging.

Walkers is using the post to deliver a nationwide recycling scheme for crisp packets following criticism from campaigners over the impact of its packaging.

The company is set to launch a new scheme where consumers can either drop off their empty crisp packets at one of hundreds of collection points or post them in an envelope for free direct to the recycling facility.

The packets will be collected by recycling firm TerraCycle before being cleaned, shredded and turned into small plastic pellets that can be moulded into new products such as street furniture. 

Although crisp packets are technically recyclable, they are not generally accepted for recycling in the UK due to the metallic plastic film on the inside of packets. 

Campaign pressure

Walkers has a target to make all of its packaging 100 per cent recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025. 

However, the company has faced criticism about this timescale, with campaigners pointing out that 28 billion more crisp packets will be produced before 2025. 

Campaigners made the news in September after encouraging consumers to put post their empty packets back to Walkers headquarters to force the issue. 

‘Working on solutions’

Ian Ellington, general manager of PepsiCo, Walkers parent company, said: “We share people’s concerns about the amount of plastic in our environment and are working on a number of both short and long-term solutions to reduce the impact of our packaging. 

“Our new Walkers recycling initiative starts to tackle this issue right now by repurposing used crisp packets to create everyday items such as plant pots and benches. We hope people will embrace this idea and join us in ensuring crisp packets are recycled.”

Lauren Cucuron, general manager of TerraCycle Europe, added: “We hope other snacks manufacturers will follow suit by investing in new ways to reduce the amount of packaging that goes to landfill and incineration.”

The recycling scheme is expected to be up and running from December 2018.