Frito Lay abandons eco-friendly SunChip bags

Last year, Frito Lay unveiled a 100% compostable bag for SunChips. Since packaging waste from single-serving junk food is a sizable chunk of our society’s trash, this move was a big deal and was cheered by environmentalists. They even had a sappy commercial showing how this could make the world more environmentally friendly. Remember the commercial?

Many (including myself) hoped that this would encourage other manufacturers of single-serving snacks to use eco-friendly packaging. Sadly, it was not to be. In fact, SunChips won’t even use compostable packaging anymore. ABC News Reports:

“About 18 months after the company unveiled its new 100 percent compostable packaging for SunChips, the company has said it will transition back to the original packing for five of its six flavors.”

And why is Frito Lay un-doing one of the most significant waste reduction moves of the last decade?

“The reason for the switch? Consumers say the packaging is too loud.”

You read that correctly. The fact that these bags reduce the enormous and unsustainable amount of waste that our society produces is apparently less important than the fact that they are a little noisier when you crinkle them.

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October 7, 2010 • 11:00 am