After all the furore surrounding people posting their packets back to Walkers to shame them for using plastic, a tiny startup from Ross-On-Wye has made the crisp brand look even worse by launching a fully biodegradable packet.
Two Farmers Ltd's crisp packet apparently looks and feels just like a traditional plastic one, but is completely compostable. Just over 26 weeks after putting it in your garden compost heap, the packet – made from sustainably-grown eucalyptus pulp and cellulose – turns into water.
The crisps are available in 40g individual packets, 150g sharing packets or 300g tins for catering and suchlike. Even the paint-like tins are recyclable.
It's not all positive news, though, as the planet-friendly 40g crisp packet does apparently cost about ten times as much as a plastic one. That might go some way to explaining why Walkers hasn't been tripping over itself to introduce this kind of packaging – they'd either have to raise the price or basically take all the crisps out.
We'd also be curious to know whether the eucalyptus pulp has any effect on flavour over time – anyone who's smelt a eucalyptus tree knows it's not exactly a neutral fragrance.
For Walkers' part, they managed to hastily announce a recycling scheme for people angrily posting their packets back to the freepost address. Neither Royal Mail nor the crisp company were thrilled about this particular method of protest, but at least now the packets won't go to waste – they'll be recycled into plastic pellets, which can be made into "everyday items such as plant pots and benches," says parent company PepsiCo. How heartwarming.