PepsiCo U.K. brand Walkers has launched what it calls the first nationwide recycling scheme for crisp packets. Working with TerraCycle, which is headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey, the scheme will tap into an established network of recycling collection points around the U.K. and is free to consumers. All brands of crisp packets will be accepted and will ultimately be turned into other basic plastic items, the partners say.
Consumers can collect their empty crisp packets and take them to the nearest recycling drop-off point, which can be found at http://walkers.co.uk/recycle.
If a drop-off point is not nearby, consumers can download a label from the TerraCycle website and arrange to have the packets collected from their homes, by courier, for free.
The packets will then be sent to TerraCycle, where they will be cleaned and shredded to be made into small plastic pellets that will be used to make everyday items, such as outdoor furniture, trays and even roofing and flooring, the companies say in a news release announcing the program.
To encourage collection and return of the packets for recycling, the program offers charity points based on the number of bags collected. People are encouraged to collect as many packs as they can prior to mailing them in.
Walkers brand ambassador Gary Lineker, former professional footballer and current sports broadcaster, is supporting the scheme and has voiced an online film explaining how it works, available at http://walkers.co.uk/recycle. The scheme will also be promoted on Walkers crisp packets from January and to the TerraCycle recycling network from today.
Michael Gove, U.K. environment secretary, says, "As the custodians of our planet, we must take action now to protect our oceans and wildlife from single-use plastic pollution. Walkers are setting a fine example with this new scheme, and I want to see other companies step-up, follow suit and reduce their environmental impact.
“Through our 25 Year Environment Plan we have committed to eliminating avoidable plastic waste, and we will continue to take decisive action to protect our precious environment.”
Ian Ellington, general manager of PepsiCo UK, the parent company of Walkers crisps, says, “This is another important step towards our ambition to make all of our packaging 100 percent recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025. This is the first crisp packet recycling scheme in the U.K. 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.”
Crisp packets are technically recyclable, but the issue has been that they weren’t being separated or collected for recycling, the companies say.
The recycling program is in response to a social media campaign titled #PacketInWalkers that urged the company to make its packaging recyclable. Consumers published pictures of themselves online posting empty crisp packets addressed to Walkers.