“Sue Welfare, a recycler based in North Lancing, West Sussex, has been the biggest contributor to the Walkers recycling scheme so far, sending in almost 50,000 packets in just three months.”
UK crisp giant Walkers is marking Global Recycling Day (today) by calling members of the public to collect more of their crisp packets for recycling after announcing that it had collected more than half a million crisp packets through its recycling scheme, which was launched in December 2018.
Three months ago, Walkers (@walkers_crisps) and recycling specialist TerraCycle (@TerraCycle) launched the scheme in the UK in order to deal with crisp packet waste. Since then, it has unveiled more than 8,500 collection points across the country.
According to Walkers, it has collected more than half a million crisp packets, enough to produce 250 benches made from recycled plastic.
Encouraged by this start, Walkers is marking Global Recycling Day (18 March) by calling on even more people to start collecting and dropping off their used crisp packets at local collection points, to ensure even more crisp packets get recycled.
Launched with support from football pundit Gary Lineker and Environment Secretary Michael Gove, it has quickly become the fastest-growing and most successful recycling scheme created by a UK brand, with double the number of collection points compared to other schemes of this kind, according to Walkers.
Sue Welfare, a recycler based in North Lancing, West Sussex, has been the biggest contributor to the Walkers recycling scheme so far, sending in almost 50,000 packets in just three months. Her contribution alone could produce 25 benches made from recycled plastic.
Welfare has been championing the initiative in her local community, bringing local businesses and community centres on board as collection points. She has set up a website and Facebook page to drive more people t recycle their crisp packets, even penning a monthly newsletter offering recycling tips and tricks to her followers.
Walkers crisp packets are made from a fusion of plastic and aluminium foil and councils do not usually accept them for recycling, though they are technically recyclable.
The news follows a public campaign against plastic waste early last year by snack fans. These fans began posting crisp packets back to Walkers in protest, complaining that the crisp packaging was not recyclable. However, at the time, campaigners did not realise that Walkers had been in talks with TerraCycle about setting up a scheme since January 2018.
Separately, TerraCycle will launch another nationwide initiative today (18 March) to facilitate the recycling of plastic ring carriers used for multi-pack beverages, such as beer can. Multi-pack plastic ring carriers are notorious for maiming and killing the wildlife that encounters them.
The concern over this issue led beer giant Corona to announce late last year that it would pilot plastic-free six pack rings in select markets. The trial was part of the brands’ commitment with environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans to lead the industry with eco-friendly packaging. The rings were made from plant-based biodegradable fibres, with a mix of by-product waste and compostable materials, the company said in a statement last year.
If left in the environment, they break down into organic material that is not harmful to wildlife, whereas the industry standard plastic six pack rings are made from a photodegradable form of polyethene that results in increasingly smaller pieces of plastic if not recycled.
However, some critics from environmental groups of the use of bio-based materials say that companies should not be fixated on using alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials, but should promote re-use and waste prevention instead.
You may also be interested in reading…