Written By Spencer Kent
As someone who has in some form or another worked in the 'green' business for a good three years now, I get excited when I see big-branded companies take the extra steps to become more environmentally conscious. When the news hit a while back that FritoLay's SunChips had switched all of their products over to 100% biodegradable bags, I was thrilled and proud. As an avid fan of the brand, I experienced a definite sense of pride that they were the first to make such a bold and meaningful move toward the health and future of this planet. In fact, I remember buying a bag of Harvest Cheddar (my personal favorite) that week to celebrate.
As I unpacked my groceries into their corresponding places amongst my pantry, I noticed that the packaging for my new eco-snack was... loud. Very loud. I took a quick glance at the gigantic label on the front of the bag explaining that the noise was caused by the new biodegradable material, and shrugged the issue off as a small (re: tiny) price to pay for something so important.
As I'm sure many of you know, SunChips has recently decided to stop using these eco-friendly bags in favor of their non-recyclable predecessors. The reason? The public declared that the bags were just "too loud." Needless to say, I was furious. Here was a name-brand making a stand, and something as insignificant as "bag noise" killed it dead-on-arrival. I was embarrassed by my fellow chip-lovers, and sad that they, as well as SunChips, didn't see the bigger picture here. I would gladly take a noisy bag over a polluted earth.
Fortunately, the idea is being replicated by FritoLay with some significant changes. I read this week that their UK potato chip brand, Walkers, is going to upgrade their packaging to new biodegradable material made out of, and isn't this perfect, potato peels. I can only imagine that, considering the SunChips situation, these new bags will have no noise-related issues. The company hopes to cut the carbon footprint of their bags by seven percent.
I'm glad that FritoLay has decided not to give up on going green, and sincerely hope that this experiment with Walkers goes well enough to help relaunch biodegradable SunChips packaging here in the US. In the meantime, I hope that consumers will gradually begin to understand the impact that small changes and sacrifices can have on our very fragile planet for years to come.
If you'd like to start making changes, The Green Garmento is simple, affordable, and a great place to start. For just under ten bucks you can eliminate the waste of drycleaning plastic, and look stylish all at once! But you don't have to take my word for it, check out the facts. Happy shopping, and have a great weekend!
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