Walkers invests £14m in sustainable food packaging innovation
Walkers, through owner Pepsico, has announced a £14 million investment in new sustainable food packaging innovations that will remove 250 tonnes of virgin plastic from its supply chain annually.
As part of the move, the outer plastic packaging on millions of Walkers 22- and 24- bag multipacks will be replaced with a new cardboard design which reduces the amount of virgin plastic it uses. After a successful trial with Tesco, the new and improved multipack outer packaging will be on-shelves in all major supermarkets in the UK in the coming weeks.
Alongside the new packaging design, the business has also invested in a new stretch film to wrap around its pallets before these are distributed to retailers. This new film is produced using nanotechnology which puts tiny air bubbles into the film to reduce the amount of plastic used, while retaining the same strength and stretch needed to protect the nation’s favourite crisps as they travel to stores across the country. The use of this new technology will lead to a 40% reduction in virgin plastic year on year, compared to the previous film. Reducing the amount of fossil-fuel based virgin plastic in the shrink wrap will also reduce the company’s annual carbon emissions by 465 tonnes.
The investment marks a major step towards the organisation's goal of eliminating virgin fossil-based plastic from its crisp and snack bags across Europe by 2030. In the UK, Pepsico is also planning to trial new solutions, including packaging made from recycled plastic for our snacks bags. This all forms part of PepsiCo Positive, the organisation's health and sustainability transformation plan, which includes an ambition of reaching net zero emissions by 2040.
Simon Devaney, Sustainable Packaging Director at Pepsico UK & Ireland, comments: “We are constantly exploring new scalable solutions and this investment marks an important step forward, delivering a huge reduction in virgin plastic across some of our best-selling ranges, while also helping to tackle our carbon footprint. “Reducing virgin plastic across our supply chain is a key part of our commitment to creating a world where packaging never becomes waste.”
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