Canadian Packaging

SunChips Intros World’s First 100% Compostable Chip Bag


February 12, 2010
by Canadian Packaging Staff

The SunChips brand, Frito Lay Canada’s (a division of PepsiCo) popular line of multigrain snacks, is introducing the world’s first 100 per cent compostable chip bag.

Starting in March 2010, all SunChips packaging will be made from more than 90 per cent renewable, plant-based materials that will completely break down into compost in a hot, active compost pile in approximately 14 weeks.

“In order to continue to reduce our environmental impact as a company, finding sustainable packaging solutions was a must,” says Marc Guay, president, Frito Lay Canada. “We know that environmentally-friendly packaging is a priority for Canadians. Using plant-based renewable materials to make packaging that will interact differently with the environment, represents the next small step in Frito Lay Canada’s environmental sustainability journey.”

The renewable material used to produce the SunChips 100 per cent compostable bag is made from a plant-based PLA (polylactic acid) material–a versatile and compostable polymer made from starch. PLA ensures the product in the bag maintains the chip’s quality and freshness.

The compostable packaging has a different sound than traditional bags because the plant-based materials are not as soft at room temperature.

The SunChips’ compostable packaging has been certified through the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), the only internationally recognized labeling program. As such it presents the opportunity for incorporation into waste management programs destined for composting, provided the local infrastructure is both available and capable of including this packaging material within their system. In the months ahead, SunChips will be working with local composting initiatives to enable the new packaging to be included in green bin programs as much as possible.

“Having designed packaging with the environment in mind, SunChips’ certified compostable packaging will help raise awareness of the environmental importance of composting,” said Susan Antler, executive director of the Compost Council of Canada. “We hope the introduction of initiatives such as the compostable SunChips bag will encourage and make it easier for Canadians to participate in composting such that over time, we will see an increase in the number of Canadian households that compost. This will hopefully also spur the industry to continue to develop and enhance the technology needed to create packaging from renewable resources such that it can be easily incorporated into waste management systems.”

The SunChips 100 per cent compostable chip bag will start appearing on shelves in Canada this March in the 225 gram and 425 gram bags, with the balance of SunChips packages transitioning into the compostable packaging in August 2010.

For more information contact Megan Johnson of Fleishman-Hillard for Frito Lay Canada at 416-645-3643 or by e-mail at megan.johnson@fleishman.ca. You can also visit www.sunchips.ca for more product info.