The move marks another step in PepsiCo’s journey towards eliminating virgin fossil-based plastic from its crisp and snack bags across Europe by 2030.
The paper-based packaging replaces the plastic outer wrapping and is completely recyclable, a first for savoury snacks flexible packaging in the UK.
It is rolling out 300,000 multipacks of two popular Walkers Baked flavours – Sea Salt and Cheese & Onion – in 800 Tesco stores across the UK.
“With this latest trial, people can buy a selection of Walkers Baked multipacks in paper-based outer packaging that can be easily and widely recycled with regular recycling at home,” said Rachel Smith, senior marketing manager for Walkers.
“Feedback is so important in helping us deliver the best possible experience for consumers, and we can’t wait to hear people’s thoughts when the packs land in stores.”
Following a successful trail with Tesco in 2022, PepsiCo has now introduced cardboard packaging for its Walkers 22- and 24-bag multipacks.
The brand has invested £14m to introduce the new packaging, with the aim to remove 250 tonnes of virgin plastic from its supply chain annually.
It has also invested in a novel stretch film used to wrap around pallets before being distributed to retailers.
Nanotechnology has been employed to insert tiny air bubbles into the film to reduce the amount of plastic used, while retaining the same strength and stretch needed. The brand claims this innovation will result in a 40% reduction in virgin plastic year-on-year, compared to the previous film. It also means PepsiCo will reduce its annual carbon emissions by 465 tonnes.
“We’re always exploring new packaging solutions that can help us reduce virgin fossil plastic use, in pursuit of our broader sustainable packaging goals,” said Gareth Callan, packaging sustainability lead at PepsiCo UK & Ireland.
“After more than two years in development, we’re looking forward to testing this paper-based outer material with our consumers to better assess the role it could play in our future packaging portfolio.”