Wotsit all about? Crisp packet recycling scheme proves popular at Truro College

Students and staff are looking crisp at Truro College, or at least, are looking for crisp packets. Recycling comes in all flavours, including cheese and onion, as the Walkers Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme has inspired staff and students to collect all the crisp packets they can, before sorting them and taking them to a collection centre to be sent to be recycled into new things, while also raising money for charity.

The Foundation Studies students holding up the bags of crisp packets they'd so carefully sorted

(L-R) Jess Escott, Nikita Singleton, Angelina Nayler, Kieron Griffon, Sarah Edgcumbe and Lynn Crocker

As of June 2019, 4,200 crisp packets have been collected at Truro College and sent for recycling since March, which is about 10.5kg in crisp packet weight. Another 4.6kg of sorted packets are now ready to be sent in addition to that.

The Foundation Studies Volunteering Group, including students Jess Escott, Nikita Singleton, Angelina Nayler, Kieron Griffon, Sarah Edgcumbe and Lynn Crocker (left to right in photograph), helped collect the impressive haul.

There are eleven crisp packet collection bins around the Truro College campus in major buildings.

The TerraCycle recycling company gives points according to the weight of packets received, which can then be turned into a monetary charitable donation. The College Sustainability Group will pick a charity for the donation to go to.

The Truro College Nursery is now also collecting packets for the scheme and will be encouraging the families of the young people who attend to join in.

A close up of all of the sorted crisp packets

Crisp packet bins can be found around the College

The recycling program was created by Walkers crisps after they were the target of protests that their packets were not very recyclable. While they technically can be recycled, they could not be put into plastic recycling so were hardly ever recycled and went into general waste—or became litter.

Packets dating back decades have been found on beaches, and a petition demanding more environmentally-friendly packaging has already received more than 330,000 signatures.

Protests saw their packets being posted back to them, which led to problems at Royal Mail sorting offices. Now the company has put in place collection points across the UK and also offers a free courier service.

The current packet design, while good at keeping the product fresh, contains metal so cannot be put in general plastic recycling waste. This scheme is part of a plan to deal with current crisp packets in a more sustainable way before a more environmentally-friendly crisp packet is launched in the near-future.

More than 500,000 packets have been collected across the country since its launch in December 2018. However, this is only a tiny fraction of the amount out there -- as 11 million bags of crisps are made daily in the UK.

So it’s 4,200 down, 10,995,800 to go for the Foundation Studies students it seems! But luckily the students seem to have got a taste for it now.