SunChips unveils world's first fully-compostable chip bag
By Ben Coxworth
April 3, 2010
The last thing the world needs right now is more discarded food packaging, which is why it’s good to hear that Frito-Lay is about to introduce a 100% compostable bag for their SunChips snacks in the US and Canada. Made with plant-based polylactic acid, the new bags will completely biodegrade within about 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin.
Frito-Lay reportedly spent four years developing the bag. It is designed with three layers - an outer layer with graphics and other visuals, an inner layer that serves as a barrier to protect the chips, and a middle layer to join the other two layers together. Once finished, the bags were submitted to the independent Wood’s End laboratory, which certified their compostability. The bags also received certification from the Biodegradable Products Institute.
Now, it’s all very well and good to make bags that break down in a compost heap, but how many people are likely to still just throw the things in the garbage? Most of them, probably. That said, Frito-Lay is also working on a national composting awareness program with the US Composting Council, recycling educators Earth 911, and Al Gore’s Current TV.
Some people might see this as another example of a big corporation trying to look good by jumping on the green bandwagon, and perhaps it is. For what it’s worth, though, Frito-Lay does have a history of eco-friendly initiatives... and hey, a compostable bag is a compostable bag.