Ever felt frustrated that you can indulge in your favourite savoury lunchtime snack but can’t recycle the packet?! No….? Just me….? Well regardless there is now a way to ensure that empty bit of plastic is turned into something new and usable!
Due to the composition of crisp packets they cannot be recycled in the normal conventional way. As a result, they will inevitably end up buried for millennia in landfill or even worse end up littering our countryside. Now however, a company called Teracycle in partnership with Walkers has created a new(ish) recycling scheme! They take the empty crisp packets (any brand welcome) separate them by plastic type, clean them, and extruded them into plastic pellets to make new recycled products!
How can you get involved? Easy, either identify your local collection point or start your own! This can be at home, in the work place or at school etc. Teracycle have a map to help you find your local drop off point. You’ll be surprised by how many schools have already signed up, which is fantastic in building the habit of recycling into kids.
How it works
It is important to remember that setting up a collection point is FREE, shipping is FREE and those once used crisp packets destined for landfill or to clog up our coasts and rivers can now be turned into something new!
We have recently started this at my work. There is an empty cardboard box down in our IT Department where everyone from across the organisation places their empty packets ready to be sent off and recycled. I currently collect the packets under my desk and each week deposit them into the box. Its a great idea getting this going in your area if you are trying to expand your teams interactions with the wider business. Or as in our case get people to actually speak to the IT guys!
Whilst this is a great step in the right direction we cannot let the crisp companies off the hook just yet. Cast your minds back to when people started sending their empty crisp packets back to Walkers by freepost in a bid to highlight the amount of waste from non-recyclable crisp packets BBC . The response from Walkers was to pledge to make all its packaging 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025. We still need to keep up the pressure as consumers to demand that the products we consume are all able to be reused again. Ideally, we need to ensure that the companies first reduce the amount of plastic they use which brings down energy costs, then reuse before we even consider recycling. Furthermore, what are local authorities who collect general recycling doing about this? If we as individuals can recycle their crisp packets why can’t they collect the packets? It is for these reasons that arguably, this crisp packet recycle scheme is a stopgap to the wider plastic issue.
If you are inspired to start collecting and sending crisp packets back let us know, we’d love to follow your progress and if you think this is something which should be extended out to councils then make sure you contact the Environment Minster email@example.com who intended to redesign the waste system in England and if you are like us then you’ll want recycling more products at the heart of it.