This week, Grist Magazine reported that Frito Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, will continue selling its popular SunChips snack product in compostable bags in Canada. The product was discontinued earlier this year in the United States because of consumer complaints that it is too noisy.
The switch back to petroleum-based landfill fodder ended one of the least successful attempts at green marketing in US corporate history. It is sad to see a company try to do something green, that costs nothing extra, and face consumer backlash all the same – just because it makes “it hard to eat the chips and watch TV” simultaneously. If this is a barrier, how long before we get a climate change deal?
At least their Canadian partners have been more persistent, and have launched a public education campaign on composting the product, complete with earplugs. It is nice to see the company creatively marketing the product. Public Radio noted at the time of the product’s original release, that without a broad public awareness campaign, most consumers will probably continue to chuck the bags in the garbage. Unfortunately, there are only 138 industrial scale compost sites across the United States.
Here at the Green Action Centre, many of us were excited to hear about the product when it was first released. We only wish that Winnipeg and other Manitoba municipalities offered the facilities to compost them properly.