UK – British snack food manufacturer, Walkers has invested US$15.8 million (£14m) in food packaging solutions that are expected to remove 250 tonnes of virgin plastic from its supply chain a year.

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

The packaging was previously trialled with supermarket chain Tesco and will be rolled out to all major supermarkets in the UK over the coming weeks.

In addition, Walkers has also invested in a stretch film to wrap around its pallets before they 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.

The investment is part of PepsiCo’s wider commitment to eliminating virgin fossil-based plastic from its crisp and snack bags across Europe by 2030.

Under its PepsiCo Positive plan, the company is also planning to pilot new solutions such as recycled plastic packaging for snack bags in the UK.

PepsiCo UK & Ireland sustainable packaging director Simon Devaney said: “We are constantly exploring new scalable solutions and this investment marks a key 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.”

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

Earlier this year, PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA), a division of PepsiCo, secured its first plastic-free pouring rights deal with the Miami Beach City Commission.

As Miami’s exclusive water and soft drink sponsor, PBNA is serving packaged water and soda in aluminum packaging.

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