Walkers Announces £14 Million Investment in Sustainable Packaging to Save 'Virgin' Plastic
Walkers said it would spend £14 million on more environmentally friendly packaging for its famous chips, which will cut 250 tonnes of plastic from its supply chain every year.
The Leicester food snack company has been making crisps in Beaumont Leys since 1948, announcing that their crisp multipacks have cardboard exterior packaging instead of plastic.
It comes after a successful trial with Tesco and its supermarkets. The new-look multipacks will be available in all major UK supermarkets in the coming weeks, according to the company.
Walkers said that as part of its new strategy, it had also invested in a new, lighter "stretch film" to wrap around the pallets that carry crisps before they are sent to stores. It means the company will use 40% less virgin plastic (unrecycled) in its manufacturing and shipping operations every year.
The investment will help parent company PepsiCo reach its goal of "eliminating fossil-based plastic from its crisp and snack packs" in Europe by 2030. Millions of Walkers 22 and 24-bag multipacks will be affected by the change.
Walkers claims that its innovative stretch film wrap inserts "small air bubbles within the film to reduce the quantity of plastic used while preserving the same strength and flexibility" required to protect the nation's favourite crisps as they travel to retailers across the country.
A spokeswoman said: "Reducing the amount of fossil-fuel-based virgin plastic in the shrink wrap will also reduce the company’s annual carbon emissions by 465 tonnes." She said that the changes will be followed by further innovations to help the environment in the coming months and years.
"In the UK, we are planning to trial new solutions, including packaging made from recycled plastic for its snacks bags," she said. "This all forms part of PepsiCo Positive, the company’s health and sustainability transformation plan, which includes an ambition of reaching net zero emissions by 2040."
Simon Devaney, PepsiCo UK & Ireland's sustainable packaging director, said:
"We are constantly exploring new scalable solutions, and this investment marks an important step forward, delivering a huge reduction in virgin plastic across some of our best-selling ranges while also helping to tackle our carbon footprint.
"Reducing virgin plastic across our supply chain is a key part of our commitment to creating a world where packaging never becomes waste."