London: A section of British environmentalists is out to teach the country’s largest potato chip maker a lesson for the use of plastic in its packaging. They send empty snack bags back to the company asking them to recycle it, knowing fully well it is impossible.
The greens' online campaign asks PepsiCo-owned British chip manufacturer Walkers to make its plastic packaging more environmentally friendly. More than 3.1 lakh people have already signed the campaign.
It is estimated that 6 billion packets of potato chips are being sold every year in Britain and Walkers produces 11 million bags of potato chips daily. Most of those bags are not recyclable. “That's an awful lot of landfill and poison for the environment," campaign organiser Geraint Ashcroft wrote on the campaign's petition page.
Walkers suggested it plans to make its packaging plastic-free by 2025 but the campaigners are not satisfied. "2025 is too long to wait for you to use plastic free packaging. It's just not good enough. You produce 4 billion packs per year. I'm sending these back to you so you can deal with your own waste. #PacketInWalkers," campaigner Jarred Livesey tweeted.
If Walkers has such a long deadline, some campaigners have suggested a better alternative, faster and immediate cure: ditch the potato chip habit altogether. "What if - instead of buying crisps and posting the packages back to @walkers_crisps - we just save our planet AND cholesterol levels by not buying crisps...," another campaigner tweeted.
And the Royal Mail, which is legally bound to deliver the packets as long as they carry a proper address, is finding itself caught in the crossfire between Walkers and the campaigners who gladly use the company's registered Freepost address for posting the bags for free. It has now requested the protestors to put the packets in an envelope and post them. Without envelopes, the bags could cause delays or be taken out of the system altogether, it has warned.