The difficulties of recycling crisp packets with the metallised films the makers use to keep our sandwich accompaniments fresh could be over soon, thanks to scientists working on new methods of stopping our beloved salty potato products from going soggy.
The answer is to start putting crisps in a new category of packaging that's based around the commonly and more easily recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, but with a thrilling new manufactured and environmentally sound nanosheet layer doing the important job of crinkliness protection that's currently carried out by the tricksy internal foil coating.
The nanosheet is made from amino acids and water so doesn't impact on the outer plastic's recyclability in anyway, plus it's apparently more effective as an oxygen barrier than current foil coating technology. The team behind it says there's now a complex food safety regulatory minefield to navigate, but if done so these alternative crisp packets could be on sale within four years. [New Scientist]