Crispy packets

Monday 11th Oct 2010 by theWeather Club

At some point in the very near future, the potato is set to enter into the battle against climate change. In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, the owners of the one of the UK’s major crisp producers, Walkers, have announced that they will soon be making the packets for their crisps out of potato peelings left over from the production process. Until now these peelings have been treated as a waste product and sold as animal feed, however new technology has opened an intriguing new possibility.

Richard Evans, president of the firm’s parent company said they had already developed crisp bags made out of the cellulose in wood pulp, but is looking at using potato peelings instead. Apparently the wood pulp bags tended to be a bit to crackly, and the company’s research has suggested that potato peelings may provide a more suitable alternative. If all goes well the new bags could be appearing on shelves within 18 months.

Mr Evans told journalists. "Overall the company produces more than 10 million bags of crisps each day. Packets made out of peelings would probably be used in some of our smaller brands to begin with." With such large numbers involved, this initiative could represent a significant step. After all the crisp industry is not the only one to create potato peelings, and a way to create useful packaging out of them could generate interest from several quarters.

Potatoes come out of the ground with a skin, which gets discarded in the vast majority of cases. If this 21st century method of selling us potatoes packaged in potato skins is successful, it will add another string to the humble spud's multi-talented bow.