Walkers under pressure to speed up recycling commitments

PepsiCo is the latest food company to face criticism over the recyclability of its packaging after campaigners revealed that more than 4 billion non-recyclable packets of its Walkers crisps brand are being produced every year.

Campaign group 38 Degrees called on the company to accelerate its commitment to achieving 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging by 2025 as it handed in a petition signed by over 300,000 people calling on PepsiCo to stop using plastic packaging.

It said the 7,000 Walkers crisp packets being produced every minute were currently destined for landfill or risked littering the streets and polluting the oceans.

38 Degrees also published responses to a survey sent to petition signatories which showed 67% were Walkers customers and 95% would switch to a different brand if they produced recyclable or biodegradable packets. 81% said they’d be happy to pay a few pence more for their crisps if the packets were made recyclable or ideally compostable.

In response to the petition, PepsiCo reaffirmed its commitment to achieving 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging by 2025 and said it had a number of initiatives in place to reduce the amount of packaging it uses whilst at the same time examining the use of different packaging materials, both plant and paper based. It is also investing in research and development to explore options to improve the recyclability of Walkers crisps packs.

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