A crisp packet recycling scheme has been launched after a public campaign against plastic waste.
Snack fans began posting crisp packets back to Walkers in protest, because the material they are made from is not recyclable.
Now the brand has launched a scheme which will allow people to send the packets back to TerraCycle, which will shred them into plastic pellets to be used in everyday items, like outdoor furniture and trays.
The scheme has won the approval of Michael Gove, the environment secretary.
Mr Gove said: “As the custodians of our planet, we must take action now to protect our oceans and wildlife from single-use plastic pollution.
“Walkers are setting a fine example with this new scheme, and I want to see other companies step-up, follow suit and reduce their environmental impact.”
The campaign came to a head at the end of September when Royal Mail had to step in to ask people not to post the crisp packets without packaging them, warning it became an expensive process for them.
Crisp fans posted selfies as they popped the bags into post boxes with the hashtag #PacketInWalkers.
Consumers can now visit 191 drop off points around the UK with their empty packets, though some may face a long trip. For example, the closest facility to the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye is in Caerphilly, 40 miles away.
But a spokesman for Walkers said a courier could be dispatched to pick up packets. The spokesman refuted claims of a minimum collection of 400 packets, saying one on its own could still be collected by courier.
Walkers’ owner PepsiCo has promised to make all packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.
Ian Ellington, PepsiCo UK’s general manager, said: “This is the first crisp packet recycling scheme in the UK and it will only work if everyone gets collecting and sending in, which is why we’ve made the scheme as simple as possible and free.”
:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com