Walkers and the Royal British Legion embrace plastic-free, paper-based products

The new paper outer bags can be conveniently recycled in standard home recycling bins, alongside other paper-based packaging, typically collected at kerbside.

The sustainable packaging solution was exclusively trialled at 800 Tesco stores earlier this year. After this successful pilot, the Walkers has decided to extend the use of paper outer bags to all major supermarkets in the coming months.

According to the famous crisp brand, this is one of the first uses of paper-based packaging in the UK’s savoury snack flexible packaging sector and is expected to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with each individual pack.

This development is part of the broader sustainability plan known as “PepsiCo Positive,” led by Walkers’ parent company, PepsiCo. As part of this plan, PepsiCo is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by the year 2040.

PepsiCo UK and Ireland’s sustainable packaging lead Gareth Callan said: “We are constantly innovating new ways to remove virgin plastic in our packaging. It’s exciting to see our successful trial of this paper pack lead to a nationwide roll-out.

“At this scale, the new packaging will deliver a huge reduction in virgin plastic, while also helping to lower our carbon footprint.”

Additional packaging initiatives

Furthermore, across PepsiCo Europe, there are plans to phase out the use of virgin fossil-based plastic in crisp and snack bags by 2030.

This effort will encompass several popular UK brands, including Snack A Jacks, Walkers, Doritos, Quavers and Wotsits. These brands will be transitioning to packaging materials made from 100% recycled or renewable content.

In addition to the paper outer bags for Walkers Baked multipacks, the company has already introduced cardboard outer packaging for its 22-bag and 24-bag multipacks, which are distributed to major supermarkets in the UK.

Additionally, Walkers is currently in the process of testing a novel “bagless” approach for Snack A Jacks multipacks, using a tape-like strip to secure individual packets.

Royal British Legion launches new paper poppy

In related news, the Royal British Legion has introduced a new, plastic-free poppy made entirely from paper, with half of its composition originating from leftovers generated during the production of disposable coffee cups.

The new poppy departs from the previous design by eliminating the green plastic stem and black plastic central element.

Instead, it features an embossed centre displaying “poppy appeal” and a leaf with a distinct fold. Skilled artisans craft the red and green dyes using a confidential formula exclusively reserved for the Royal British Legion poppy.

The Royal British Legion, in response to high public demand, manufactures 170,000 poppies daily.

Collaborating with University College London scientists, it assessed the ecological impact of the new poppy. The analysis indicated a 40% reduction in carbon emissions when compared to the traditional poppy.

The poppy appeal director Andy Taylor-Whyte said: “We’re so proud that this year we have our new plastic-free poppy, so that the public can wear this poignant symbol of Remembrance, with less impact on the environment.”

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