Adding a bag of chips to any sack lunch can make eating a meal with any plain sand which more exciting. However, although the personal/snack sized chip baggies are definitely the most convenient for most families, having individual baggies for each chip bag never really could be considered very environmentally friendly. Fortunately, at least one brand of chips is now implementing a solution to that problem. SunChips, a “healthier” chip option owned by the Frito-Lay company, now is using fully compostable packaging for some of their chips. In fact, SunChips as a brand is actually taking several steps towards being a “greener” chip.
With this new green packaging technology, consumers no longer have to feel guilty about filling their world’s landfills because of their chip-snacking habits. Instead, they can find comfort in knowing that the bag that their delicious snack came in is able to decompose in a warm environment in about 14 weeks. The compostable chip package is made up of plant products-more specifically, PLA. PLA (polylactic acid) is a plant product polymer that is often used in place of petroleum derivatives. Since PLA is derived from plants, the green chemistry principle of “use of renewable feedstocks” is implemented through its use, as plants can easily be replanted and grown every year.
Additionally, SunChips has a plant down in Modesto, California for packaging and producing their various flavors of multi-grain chips. The difference between the chip plant at Modesto and the other seven (or so) SunChip plants around the nation lies in the fact that the Modesto plant has been designed specifically to use as much solar energy as possible to guarantee that the SunChip manufacturing process is as green as possible. The result of the California sun’s harnessed energy is fairly phenomenal, allowing for the packaging of 145,000 bags of SunChips every day at the Modesto plant alone.
Finally, SunChips is encouraging their consumers to make greener decisions for their everyday lives as well. The back of one SunChips bag reads, “Imagine if we all did one green thing this year. Even something small. Together all our green things would add up to make a big difference.” Customers who have made such a green decision (starting a family compost bin, carpooling to work or school, biking instead of driving, etc.) are featured on the backs of chip packages as well.
Through taking steps towards greener production practices and encouraging their customers to live their own lives in greener ways, SunChips is showing its dedication to a greener earth.