We don’t think about crisp packets too often do we? We just enjoy the crisps, without realising that almost all crisp packets are not recyclable and will end up in landfill (or worse!) for a very long time. The good news is that a British company called Two Farmers has come up with a way of creating compostable crisp packets, which is fantastic, and they taste great too!
Compostable Crisp Packets
It’s amazing that a small start-up company in the UK has been able to beat all the big manufacturers to a compostable crisp packet. Amazing, but understandable. We’ll see later what’s really going on here.
On the Two Farmers website, they say this about their compostable crisp packets (I have no affiliation with Two Farmers – I just enjoy their crisps);
In a pioneering move for the crisp industry we package our crisps in 100% compostable bags. These will completely break down in a home composting environment in 26 weeks. We also package into recyclable tins. Just another way in which we give back to the countryside.”
It’s great to see that these crisp packets will break down in a simple home composting situation – no need for some sort of “industrial” composting to make them break down. Apparently, the packets are made from sustainably-grown eucalyptus wood pulp.
There has been a lot of pressure put on major crisp manufacturers, like Walkers, to ditch non-recyclable packaging. Walkers has said that they will be 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025, but this isn’t good enough. Apparently, Walkers make 7,000 non-recyclable crisp packets every minute, and they will make 28 billion more of them by 2025. Walkers have started their own recycling program, but this seems pretty lame and I can’t see it being successful. It appears to be just window dressing when they really could be tackling the problem head-on.
If the small Two Farmers startup company can make compostable crisp packets right now, why is Walkers putting it off until 2025? It’s not hard to understand…
The “negatives” of compostable crisp packets
There are two obvious negatives of using compostable crisp packets;
- each packet costs about 10 times the cost of a non-recyclable plastic packet (but normal plastic is ridiculously cheap), and,
- the shelf life of the products is reduced – from what I see, the compostable packaging will last a few months, whereas regular plastic packaging could last years
So it’s all about profits and greed. Big companies like Walkers are motivated by profits and they don’t really care what happens to the world. Profit comes first. This is precisely the attitude that has a high chance of destroying the world completely, and then there’ll be no profits for anyone.
This focus on profits above all else, including the future of our planet, is why the most effective solution would be for governments to Ban New Plastic production. Large companies are unlikely to do it themselves and they’ll probably need a push (or more like a very hard shove).
Personal steps we can take now
Here are some personal steps we can all take immediately;
- Eat less crisps (do we need to eat so many? less would be better for our health…)
- Support companies like Two Farmers who are doing a tremendous job pushing ahead with compostable crisp packets
- Avoid buying anything that comes in non-recyclable packaging
With Two Farmers crisps, it’s possible to enjoy a really nice crisp in the knowledge that we’re not directly contributing to the huge plastic problem that the world is facing.
Related Links – Compostable Crisp Packets
- Ban New Plastic
- Tiny Startup Beats Walkers To Biodegradable Crisp Packets – from Gizmodo
- Crunch time for Walkers over non-recyclable crisp packets – from The Guardian
- Walkers crisp packets recycling scheme announced – from BBC News
- Herefordshire firm launches biodegradable crisp packet – from BBC News
- Walkers FAQ on Sourcing and Sustainability