Two farmers create the UK’s first biodegradable crisp packet out of eucalyptus wood pulp that decomposes in 26 weeks
- Sean Mason and Mark Watson of Herefordshire founded the firm Two Farmers
- Crisps come in four flavours and packets can turn to compost within 26 weeks
- Walkers customers posted empty packets amid fury they were non-recyclable
Two farmers have created the UK’s first biodegradable crisp packet which will turn to compost after 26 weeks.
Sean Mason and Mark Watson, from Herefordshire, have beaten the 2025 deadline for compostable packets set by potato snack giant Walkers, who recently faced a backlash over its non-recyclable packaging.
The packets are made from cellulose and sustainably grown eucalyptus trees, the company’s website said, meaning they can return to nature in the space of half a year.
Flavours from Two Farmers include Hereford Hop Cheese and Onion, Salt and Cider Vineger, and Hereford Bullshot which features a hint of Hereford beef.
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Herefordshire farmers Mark Green (left) and Sean Mason have created the UK’s first biodegradable crisp packet which will turn to compost after 26 weeks. They have beaten the 2025 deadline for compostable packets set by potato snack giant Walkers
How do the crisp packets help the environment?
The packets are made from cellulose and sustainably grown eucalyptus trees from managed plantations, the company said.
As a result they are compostable and will degrade in a little over 26 weeks.
The bags come in 40g or 150 sizes, or in a 300g recyclable tin for ‘larger catering needs’.
Regular crisp packets include a plastic film which is not compostable.
Climate scientists say eight million tonnes of plastics currently find their way into the ocean every year.
The amount of plastic rubbish in the world’s oceans may outweigh fish by 2050, a recent report found.
The packets can break down in six months in a ‘home composting environment’ and are also sold in recyclable tins, the founders said.
Two Farmers co-founder Mr Mason said on the firm’s website that ‘a potato merchant inspired him to protect the countryside around him’.
Mr Green said he is a ‘second-generation farmer’ who ‘wanted to produce something that would firmly cement Herefordshire on the foodie map’.
The founders wrote on Facebook: ‘We are proud to be producing our new range of crisps in 100 per cent compostable packs, a first we think for the UK and a big step forward in dealing with our waste issues.
‘Our bags will completely break down in a home composting environment in 26 weeks.
‘We are really excited about this innovation and the feedback we have had is amazing.’
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It comes after Walkers announced a new recycling scheme for empty crisp packets after Royal Mail begged campaigners not to post their rubbish without an envelope.
Green campaigners had urged people to send the bags back to manufacturer Walkers as a form of protest against the packets being non-recyclable.
Beach clean-up volunteers in Cornwall found packets they believed dated back to 1980s and 1990s.
The postal service called on campaigners to refrain from posting the empty packets into postboxes, asking that they be ‘properly packaged’ in an envelope beforehand.
Flavours on offer include Hereford Hop Cheese and Onion, Salt and Cider Vineger, and Hereford Bullshot which features a hint of Hereford beef
Customers will be able to send their empty bags directly to a recycling firm from December in a scheme set up by PepsiCo, which owns Walkers.
The crisp company previously said it was committed to making its packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.
The British manufacturer currently produces in the region of 11 million new packets each day.
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