PepsiCo multipack boxes

Source: PepsiCo

The outer plastic packs of Walkers 22x and 24xbag multipacks will be replaced with cardboard boxes

Walkers is ploughing £14m into sustainable packaging solutions in a move it claims will remove 250 tonnes of virgin plastic from its supply chain annually.

As part of the move, the outer plastic packs of Walkers 22 and 24-bag multipacks will be replaced with cardboard boxes.

The new multipack packaging will roll into all major supermarkets in the coming weeks, following a successful trial with Tesco.

Walkers has also invested in a new stretch film to wrap around pallets before these are distributed to retailers.

The 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 crisps in transit.

Use of this technology would lead to a 40% reduction in virgin plastic year on year, compared with the previous film, claimed Walkers.

Reducing the amount of fossil fuel-based virgin plastic in the shrink wrap would also reduce the company’s annual carbon emissions by 465 tonnes, it added.

The investment marked “a major step” towards owner PepsiCo’s goal of eliminating virgin fossil-based plastic from its crisp and snack bags across Europe by 2030, it said. 

The UK business is planning to trial new solutions, including packaging made from recycled plastic for its snacks bags.

This forms part of the company’s PepsiCo Positive initiative, which includes an ambition of reaching net zero emissions by 2040.

Simon Devaney, sustainable packaging director for PepsiCo UK & Ireland, said the business was “constantly exploring new scalable solutions”.

The investment marked “an important step forward, delivering a huge reduction in virgin plastic across some of our bestselling ranges, while also helping to tackle our carbon footprint”, he added.

It comes after Walkers first unveiled plans to launch a new crisps range packaged in recycled materials in January.

The crisps giant then called time on its crisp packet recycling scheme in April after less than four years.