Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Conservation and Environment
tahir

Plastic crisp packets

I couldn't shame the kids into contacting Walkers to ask why their crisp packets aren't recyclable so I did it myself, my original question was why they need the foil layer and how they justify that against the environmental costs:

Pamela

That is exactly what it says on your website, which does not answer my questions:

1. Please advise what the benefits are of a foil layer within the packaging that a normal plastic wrapper would not provide.

2. According to your environment factsheet:

"In May 2017, we joined the Ellen Macarthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative as a Core Partner, where we are collaborating with a community of experts and innovators to create a more sustainable packaging ecosystem. One of the areas we are looking at is how we can make crisp packets 100% recyclable or recoverable.

We haven’t quite cracked this yet, but aren’t giving up. And we know to make progress, we’ll need to encourage everyone to recycle more and litter less."

Surely it's a straightforward process to go back to the all plastic packaging that all crisp manufacturers used to use in order to make it recyclable?

I'm not sure I understand the issue, please advise.

Tahir

On 16/01/2018 16:00, Talk To Us @ Consumer Services wrote:
- hide quoted text -
>
>
> Dear Mr Sharif
>
> Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding Walkers Crisps and the environment.
>
> Currently our Walkers Crisps packets are comprised of an inner foil layer, and an outer plastic layer (plus some sealant between). As you will appreciate, technically, virtually anything can be recycled, however, because separation of these materials is both costly and energy intensive it would make little sense to do so, environmentally or economically. And there is not the infrastructure for the ordinary consumer to actually recycle the material in question. So our current Walkers Crisps packets are not, in a meaningful sense, recyclable.
>
> For a fuller briefing on our Walkers agenda have a look at this webpage:
>
> http://www.pepsico.co.uk/purpose/environment/environment-factsheets/walkers-and-the-environment
>
> Thank you once again for taking the time and trouble to contact us and I hope that I have been able to answer your enquiry.
>
> Regards
>
> Pamela Crump
> Consumer Relations
Slim

I'm guessing that the foil further reduces air exchange through the plastic and lengthens shelf life.
tahir

I'm guessing that the foil further reduces air exchange through the plastic and lengthens shelf life.


I guessed that, but by how much and for what cost?

With the logistics systems within the food chain now I'm sure they don't need to have a 12 month shelf life.
sean

They're packed in nitrogen, hence the need for the metal foil layer to keep it in and avoid any oxygen getting to them. (I'm not saying it's necessary, just pointing out why they do it.)
tahir

Lets see if they come back with anything, can't imagine they will. Talking to the general public about modified atmosphere packaging is probably not something they're into, might blow our tiny little minds.
Slim

Nitrogen! Isn't that what was used in the Oklahoma City bombing?

Rolling Eyes
Nick

It seems remarkably unlikely.
Shane

You should fire the same email across to the chaps at Pringles - I saw something the other day about how their "cardboard" tubes are the hardest crisp packet to recycle out there.

PS. Isn't the name Pamela Crump rather delightful? Reckon she's friends with Truly Scrumptious?
Mistress Rose

In the dim and distant past, when crisps were made by Smiths, only came in plain flavour and had a screw of salt in a blue paper, the packets were made of some sort of oiled paper. Not really recyclable either, but would probably break down faster than plastic and metal. The crisps did occasionally go soft if stored for too long, but as you say, with today's logistics, they should be sold fairly quickly, in the UK at least. Nitrogen may keep the crisps better, but shouldn't leak more than air as the molecules aren't that much different in size. Helium is the real problem as that has tiny molecules. We used to use that to test for leaks in electronic packaging.
Slim

You just need to threaten a public education about crisp packaging, and they will probably have an actuary that can tell almost exactly the number of Facebook shares that will make it more profitable to switch to recyclable packaging.

That being said, if your market for recyclables is anything like the current American one, almost no one will be incentivized to moving to produce more recyclable materials that aren't worth enough to cover the cost of transportation.
Nick

They probably burn the same anyway and as China’s stopped taking plastic it seems that’s where a lot of it is going to end up.
dpack

the paper bagged ones in the 60's were ok from high turnover outlets.

biodegradable for those that avoid a formal waste stream and calorific if used as waste to energy in a waste stream.

i vote waxed paper.
Shane

We should vote to put the colours back to how they're supposed to be too, before Walkers ruined everything Mad
Slim

"Downsizer Crisps - the ones in the earth-friendly packaging"
U.K. taters and oil, wildflower seeds coating the outside of the wax paper packaging.

Sells itself, once you get a few celebrity endorsements. Then all the rest will switch their packaging over.

Get on it Tahir et al.
dpack

love the seeds idea for the ones that go feral.
Mistress Rose

You would certainly be able to see where people had dropped them, as there would be a little patch of flowers. Trouble is, people would be dropping them on purpose; still a nice idea.
tahir

I'd been thinking about this over the weekend, clothing is probably at least a big an issue as food, this morning as if by magic:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-42731407

I think I mentioned in the Stella McCartney thread, there are so many synthetics (plastics) in the market now that will end up as a pollution source. There is no sensible way to separate cotton from polyester or wool from nylon at the end of a garments life. I guess modern incineration with really good flue treatment is the only answer. Don't know what you do about tumble dryer fluff or washing machine waste water.
tahir

Had another generic response from Waitrose:

Thanks for your email, Mr Sharif.

The impact of packaging on the environment is something we all care about. At Waitrose cutting down on our use of plastic has been a focus for us and we've reduced our packaging by nearly
50 per cent since 2009.

We’ve also been industry pioneers on a number of things - becoming the first supermarket to stop selling products containing plastic microbeads following our announcement in September 2016.
And we led the way by moving exclusively to cotton buds with paper stems, not plastic. Both these are types of plastic which can end up in our seas, so these actions are important. Last summer,
we introduced more easily recyclable sandwich wrappers - the first in the market with removable plastic liners.

In July we announced a commitment that will make a major impact on the use of plastic in our packaging. By 2025 all our own-label packaging will be widely recyclable (using the widely recycled logo), reusable, or home compostable.

We believe there is a role that recyclable plastic can play with some products - to protect during transportation and to prevent food waste, which is why we are not planning to remove it entirely from our ranges.

Our commitment is a stretching target, but we are determined to achieve it through a mix of innovation and working with suppliers to change how we package the products we sell.

We're passionate about continually improving the service we offer our customers. If you'd like to feed back on the service I've given you, please click on the link below to take part in our quick survey. As a thank you, we’ll also enter you into our monthly prize draw where you could win £500 in gift cards.

http://waitrosehaveyoursay.com/CS/0050O000007za8o
dpack

tumble drier fluff is rather good tinder, which is good or very bad depending on context.

it is a bit ironic that "end"of use "renewable" natural fibres can have several afterlives before they are compost or fuel and "finite" oil based ones have yet to be exploited repeatedly.

whatever the origin mixed fibres are a challenge to reuse but there are some examples especially from the felted products/stuffing/insulation trades.

carding rags and making new from old was industrialised in west yorks soon after the machine card was, all it takes is extra big teeth at the front end and a brave bloke with a bale hook Rolling Eyes

with oil based fibres i recon a bit of effort playing about with heat and pressure to make composite sheet might be an option, so might a lot of chemical and physical processes to make something new.

getting back to crisp bags, what outlets would be able to stock crisps on a short shelf life basis?
ditto manufacture and shelf life?

thinking outside the box (or should that be bag) could crisps be made to order using a "crispomatic" ( not a tm yet ? Laughing )
it cant be that tricky to chuck spuds in one end , oil the side and get a small batch.
something alongside the the "instore" bakery kit to do a half days needs at a time or even a bag sized portion at a go as a vending machine item or a la popcorn with minion and scoop.
a well thought out system that is easy to maintain does not seem impossible.
Mistress Rose

Using the old oiled paper bags the crisps would keep for several weeks unopened, so I don't think there would be a problem with turnover these days, as just in time, or just too late as I prefer to call it, seems to be the order of the day.

Interesting about shoddy. I had heard of it, but wasn't too sure what it was. I may be wrong, but it may also have used cotton for the warp and wool for the weft, which would have made the use of poor quality wool even more practical as less strain on the weft.

I found, unfortunately by having to pull miles of nylon yarn from the compost heap, that a good way of separating the wool and nylon is to compost the wool component as the nylon stays. It was the remains of some very worn out home knitted socks, so the nylon was a reasonable thickness and came out all right. I didn't realise how much nylon there was in sock wool until that point.
Slim

I don't think it's a final solution, but this person has been working to catch synthetic fibers before they hit waterways: https://coraball.com/

I'm slightly tempted to get one, because line drying doesn't remove dog/cat hair from my clothes the way tumble drying does, but I don't know if this would catch the hairs either.

It's odd to think that micro-fiber concerns may favor tumble drying over line drying in regards to catching some of the loose fibers before the next wash cycle.
Mistress Rose

Looks like a good idea. If they get into the shops over here I might get one. I assume they have to be cleaned out every so often and the resulting fluff burnt, otherwise they won't be any good.
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Conservation and Environment
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home