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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Walkers praised but more must be done on packaging

Walkers’ crisp packet recycling scheme has been praised as a “step in the right direction” by Catholic environmentalists – but they have stressed that it is just the first step needed to end the use of plastic in food packaging.

Walkers’ new scheme comes after campaigners called on consumers to post the non-recyclable crisp bags back to the manufacturer and celebrate their environmentally-conscious act on social media.

The free scheme, which Walkers describes as a nationwide first, involves recycling the packets of any crisp brand.

Snackers will be asked to send their bags to recycling firm TerraCycle, which will shred them into plastic pellets to be used in everyday items, like outdoor furniture and trays.

PepsiCo, which owns Walkers, has also pledged to make all its packaging completely recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025.

“The move by Walkers Crisps and parent company PepsiCo is a step in the right direction” Ellen Teague, of the Columban Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation, told The Catholic Universe. “And it shows the power of a campaign supported by more than 330,000 people urging Walkers to switch to recyclable packets. Ordinary people can influence the corporate world to embrace more sustainable practices!”

Dr Edward Echlin, an eco-theologian and Honorary Fellow at Leeds Trinity University, also welcomed the new scheme but reminded readers that “plastic waste does great damage to people and the wider earth community. In small ways we can act similarly with our own locally produced waste.”

However, Mrs Teague insisted that food companies must look into alternatives to plastic packaging. “We must use less plastic packaging and buy less processed food which needs complex packaging.”

Picture: Gary Lineker giving his backing to the Walkers crisp packet recycling scheme. (Andrew Parsons/Parsons Media).