Leicester

Petition calls for Walkers to change plastic crisp packets

Gary Lineker surrounded by Walkers crisp packets in 1994 Image copyright PA
Image caption Leicester crisp manufacturer Walkers currently makes its packets from non-recyclable plastic

More than 150,000 people have signed a petition calling for Walkers and other crisp manufacturers to make their packets "environmentally-friendly".

It comes after beach cleaning volunteers in Cornwall discovered Walkers packets believed to be from the 1980s and 1990s.

Leicester crisp manufacturer Walkers currently uses metallised plastic.

It said it was committed to making all its packaging 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.

Image copyright Beach Guardian
Image caption Beach Guardian volunteer Laurence Miller, 10, found a Walkers crisp packet that is three times as old as he is

Geraint Ashcroft, who started the petition, hopes the packaging can be changed sooner than this.

"The problem is now that more and more manufacturers are using the same packaging and not just the crisp industry," he said.

"Let's hope we can get the 2025 date brought forward and get more manufacturers to change their packaging."

Image copyright Beach Guardian
Image caption Emily Stevenson found a Walkers crisp packet with a sell by date from 1997 - the year she was born

He is working in conjunction with Beach Guardian, the beach cleaning group which found the old crisp packets.

It was set up by Rob Stevenson and his daughter Emily, who is in her final year studying marine biology at the University of Plymouth.

Her dissertation is looking at the plastics washed up on the beaches between Newquay and Padstow harbours.

Image caption The petition calls for Walkers and other crisp manufacturers to use recyclable or non-plastic packaging

Walkers has previously experimented with crisp packets made from potatoes and wood pulp.

PepsiCo, which owns Walkers, said: "We already have a pilot of compostable bags in one of our markets and are optimistic we will be able to expand its rollout wider in the future.

"We have committed to 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging across our product portfolio by 2025, and are collaborating with leaders in this space to bring the latest packaging advances to our products."

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