I firmly believe in protecting both the UK's vibrant ecosystem and the natural environment worldwide. Environmental and economic progress are not just compatible: they depend on each other. The Government is committed to being the UK's greenest ever, and has established a 25-Year Plan to Improve the Environment to help achieve this goal.
Alike this, I have received many letters from constituents about the environment as a whole and more specifically, the way Walkers Crisps recycle their empty packets.
With this in mind, I wrote to the owners of Walkers, PepsiCo and received a response from Ms Lucy Gilchrist, Head of External Affairs, PepsiCo UK and ROI.
“Further to your recent inquiry regarding Walkers crisps and recycling, I thought you might like to know that today we’re making a major new commitment on recycling.
Later this year Walkers will be launching the UK’s first nationwide recycling programme for crisp packets:
- People will be encouraged to either drop off their packets at one of the hundreds of public access collection points that will be developed all around the country or alternatively post them for free directly to TerraCycle for recycling.
- Once the packets have been collected, they will be cleaned, shredded and turned into small plastic pellets which will then be converted into useful plastic materials, such as benches and fence posts.
- Under the scheme, developed in partnership with the recycling company TerraCycle, all crisp packets will be accepted – not just Walkers.
- The new recycling scheme will be up and running from December this year and full details of exactly how it will work, as well as the locations of the nationwide collection points, will be announced nearer the time.
We completely recognise that this is not a panacea and we continually challenge ourselves to go further. Ultimately, our long-term ambition is to make all of Walkers packaging 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025, and we are focusing significant resource on developing the technology and infrastructure to make this happen."
I am very pleased to hear of this new scheme launched by Walkers, as I am sure you will agree that this will help improve our ecosystem and the environment as a whole. It is the small changes that individuals make in life that will help to reduce plastic pollution.