SunChips, a Frito-Lay brand, already ahead in the guilt game of eating chips, has taken a leap forward in ecological ethics and rolled out an entirely compostable bag for its multigrain brand. Made from corn, the bags will decompose in under four months.
Per the official website: “We dream of a world with less waste. That’s why we’ve introduced a bag made from plants so it’s fully compostable. Every 10 ½ oz. SunChips® package is designed to fully break down in just 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin or pile. If it takes a little longer, don’t worry about it. Mother nature will get to it soon enough.”
In addition to the calories and questionable nutritional value of any chip snack, billions of bags end up in garbage dumps annually. Certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute, according to Brad Rogers, North American sustainable packaging manager, the new compostable bags have passed tests “with flying colors.”
Beyond perfecting the bag, the issue of consumer education around the whole arena of composting remains daunting. Gannon Jones, VP, portfolio marketing, Frito-Lay North America, recognizes that Americans basic knowledge about composting is “mixed,” and “similar to questions asked about recycling 25 or 30 years ago.” Frito-Lay has made a substantial investment in compostable bags which, continues, Gannon, “is not a cost-savings for us.”
In order to be properly disposed of, the product needs a B.P.I. logo affixed. SunChips multigrain bags will have those logos beginning in May and June. Their Modesto, CA. plant collects solar energy which assists directly in the manufacture of 145,000 bags daily. A funny side-effect is the louder sound the bags make upon crumbling.
“That’s because plant-based materials have different sound properties than the materials used to create our old bags. So although this version is a little bit louder, we hope you’ll appreciate the change and the positive environmental impact it will have.”
The SunChips brand is doing its share – one chip at a time, and Mother Nature approves.