Walkers sees largest ever recycling program following #PacketInWalkers campaign

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Walker's crisp packet recycling scheme takes off. Photo: Walker's.
Walker's crisp packet recycling scheme takes off. Photo: Walker's.
Walkers has seen its largest ever recycling program following a public outcry on social media called #PacketInWalkers.

The company launched a recycling scheme with TerraCycle, thanks to the campaign over packaging waste​.

2025 goal 

It was Walkers' first UK nationwide recycling scheme for crisp (potato chip) packets, where consumers are encouraged to drop off their packets at one of hundreds of collection points​​ or via a freepost box address or envelope directly to TerraCycle. 

Once the packets are collected, cleaned, shredded and turned into small plastic pellets that are converted into plastic items, such as benches and fence posts. 

Three months on, more than 8,500 collection points across the UK have signed up to Walkers crisp packet recycling scheme, making it the UK’s first and largest recycling program for crisp packets.  

The public’s response to this scheme has been fantastic but we know this is just the beginning​,” said Duncan Gordon, corporate affairs director, Walkers. 

We’re continuing to encourage people to get involved with the scheme by taking used packets to their local public collection point​. 

We’re also continuing in our ambition to make all our packaging 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025​.” 

Since its launch in December 2018, Walkers has collected more than half a million crisp packets, enough to produce 250 benches made from recycled plastic. 

Encouraged by this start, Walkers is marking Global Recycling Day (March 18) by calling on more people to start collecting and dropping off their used crisp packets at local collection points.   

Recycled plastic

Launched with support from former footballer turned TV host, Gary Lineker, and Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, it has become the fastest-growing and most successful recycling scheme created by a UK brand, with double the number of collection points compared to other schemes of this kind.   

Sue Welfare, a recycler based in North Lancing, West Sussex, has been the biggest contributor to the Walkers recycling scheme so far, sending in almost 50,000 packets in three months. 

Her contribution alone could produce 25 benches made from recycled plastic.   

Welfare has been championing the initiative in her local community, bringing local businesses and community centers on board as collection points. 

She has set up a website and Facebook page​ to drive more people to recycle their crisp packets, writing a monthly newsletter offering recycling tips to her followers.  

Other ways to get involved in the scheme include: Collect empty crisp packets and take them to your nearest recycling drop-off point, which can be found at walkers.co.uk/recycle ​- there are 8,500 across the UK.

If there isn’t a drop-off point, download a label from the TerraCycle website and arrange to have the packets collected from your home, by courier, free of charge. The packets will then be sent to TerraCycle, which will clean them and shred them to be made into small plastic pellets to make everyday items such as outdoor furniture, trays, roofing and flooring. 

While crisp packets are technically recyclable, the issue until now has been that they weren’t being separated or collected for recycling.

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