Following a successful trial, Walkers has announced that it will be rolling out new paper bags for all its Walkers Baked multipacks.

The company estimates that the move will reduce the use of virgin plastic on outer packaging by 180 tonnes annually.

Walkers has been owned by PepsiCo since 1989 and is Britain’s most popular savoury snacks brand, with a 22.1% volume share and 26.5% value share of the savoury snacks market in the year leading up to 13 May 2023.

Its products include French Fries, Monster Munch, Quavers and the Walkers Baked range, all of which will now have the new paper outer bag.

Forming part of the PepsiCo Positive health and sustainability transformation strategy, Walkers’ paper bag will be widely recyclable in home recycling bins across the UK. Its introduction follows a trial that took place in 800 Tesco stores across the UK, which commenced in March 2023 and reportedly received positive feedback.

The packaging represents a step towards PepsiCo Europe’s goal to eliminate virgin fossil-based plastic in crisp and snack bags by 2030 and PepsiCo’s global goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.

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Gareth Callan, Sustainable Packaging Lead, PepsiCo UK and Ireland, said: “We are constantly innovating new ways to remove virgin plastic in our packaging. It’s exciting to see our successful trial of this paper pack lead to a nationwide roll-out. At this scale, the new packaging will deliver a huge reduction in virgin plastic, while also helping to lower our carbon footprint.”

PepsiCo has seen an overall increase in environmental concerns across its company filings since 2019, despite a significant dip in mentions in 2021. Following the launch of PepsiCo Positive the same year, priorities have re-shifted towards environmental concerns.

PepsiCo is trialling other potential packaging changes too. including ‘bagless’ Snack A Jacks multipacks, which use a tape-like strip to combine individual packets. Also at Tesco, the design uses 86% less plastic on the outer packaging when compared with the previous multipack design.

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