Crisp giant Walkers launches recycling scheme to allow customers to post their empty packets

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Walkers has announced a new recycling scheme for empty crisp packets after Royal Mail begged campaigners not to post their rubbish without an envelope.

Customers will be able to send their empty bags directly to a recycling firm from December – completely free of charge – due to a scheme set up by PepsiCo. 

TerraCycle will then use the discarded packets to make benches, watering cans and plant pots from the plastic.

The new scheme, however, will not just include Walkers crisps packets.

The public will be encouraged to recycle all discarded bags at one of hundreds of ‘public access points’ across the country, or send them directly to TerraCycle by post.

Recycled packets will then be shredded and turned into pellets.

It comes after Royal Mail was forced to step in and ask customers to stop posting empty crisp packets earlier this month.

Green campaigners had urged people to send the bags back to manufacturer Walkers as a form of protest against the packets being non-recyclable.

The company said it had been considering the scheme since the beginning of the year. 

Geraint Ashcroft, who launched a petition calling for Walkers to make their crisp packets more environmentally-friendly, said it was a step in the right direction.

He told the BBC: ‘I hope other snack companies get on board.

‘This is a great first step and makes all the work that’s gone into the petition worthwhile.’

His petition was signed by more than 330,000 people after being launched earlier this year.

It came after beach clean-up volunteers in Cornwall found packets they believed dated back to 1980s and 1990s. 

The company previously said it was committed to making its packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.

Laure Cucuron, general manager of TerraCycle Europe, said: ‘We hope other snack manufacturers will follow suit, by investing in new ways to reduce the amount of packaging that goes to landfill and incineration.’ 

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