Walkers Announces Bold Sustainability Move

In a groundbreaking move toward a more sustainable future, Walkers, a leading snack manufacturer, has unveiled its ambitious plan to introduce packaging containing 50% recycled plastic for its popular Sunbites range of snacks. 

This initiative aligns with their broader strategy to significantly reduce their use of virgin plastic over the next two years. 

However, Walkers’ commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop there; they have set their sights on eliminating virgin fossil-based plastic in crisp and snack bags by 2030, as part of PepsiCo Positive (pep+), the parent company’s comprehensive health and sustainability plan.

Recycling for a Greener Tomorrow

The heart of this groundbreaking packaging shift lies in the adoption of a mass balance approach. This innovative technique allows Walkers to utilise recycled plastic in Sunbites packaging while carefully tracking and verifying the recycled feedstock throughout the value chain. 

This ensures transparency and credibility in the use of recycled materials, which is crucial in today’s environmentally conscious landscape. By embracing this approach, Walkers anticipates eliminating a staggering 200 tonnes of fossil-based plastic from Sunbites packaging by the end of 2025.

Furthermore, Walkers is working closely with its suppliers to ensure a seamless transition to the mass balance approach. This collaborative effort aims to foster a supply chain that is not only sustainable but also capable of producing high-quality packaging that meets consumer expectations.

A Journey Towards Sustainability

Walkers’ transition to 50% recycled packaging in the Sunbites range is part of a broader commitment to sustainability. They’ve already taken significant steps, including introducing new paper outer packaging for the entire Walkers Baked Range and implementing a cardboard design for Walkers’ 20-bag multipacks. 

These efforts reflect their dedication to reducing their environmental footprint while offering consumers healthier snacking options without compromising on taste.

In addition to the packaging innovations, Walkers has invested in optimising its production processes to minimise waste and energy consumption. These improvements contribute to their overall sustainability goals and further demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility.

PepsiCo Positive: A Vision for the Future

As a member of the PepsiCo family, Walkers is fully committed to the company’s pep+ initiative. Their sustainable packaging lead in the United Kingdom emphasised that the Sunbites transformation exemplifies their ongoing dedication to providing products that are not only better for consumers but also for the planet. 

Furthermore, they openly expressed their pride in the progress made so far in reducing the use of fossil-based plastic and meeting the growing demand for healthier snacking options.

To scale up their sustainability efforts, Walkers is urging the UK government to recognize the pivotal role that chemical recycling and emerging mechanical technologies can play in creating demand for food-contact flexible plastics. 

They also call for the modification of the Plastic Packaging Tax to stimulate a circular economy for packaging within the UK.

A Healthier Future

The move to reduce the amount of virgin plastic in Sunbites packaging comes on the heels of a reformulation of the snack’s recipe to make it non-high in fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS). Sunbites now joins an expanding lineup of non-HFSS Walkers products, including 45% Less Salt, Baked, Doritos Dippers, and PopWorks

In line with their commitment to promoting healthier choices, Walkers aims to have snacks categorised as non-HFSS or sold in portions of under 100 calories comprise 50% of their sales by 2025. 

What’s more, as of December 2023, they have already achieved a significant milestone, with 30% of their snack brand’s sales falling into the healthier snacks category.


Walkers’ commitment to sustainability and the environment is at the forefront of their latest announcement. The introduction of 50% recycled plastic packaging for Sunbites snacks, coupled with their ambitious targets for reducing virgin fossil-based plastic in their products, showcases their dedication to a greener future. 

As they continue to reinvent their packaging, work closely with suppliers to ensure sustainability, and optimise production processes, Walkers is not only enhancing the snacking experience but also contributing to a healthier planet for future generations. 

Furthermore, their call to the UK government to embrace innovative recycling technologies and foster a circular economy for packaging underscores their commitment to leading the way in sustainable snacking solutions. 

Walkers invites consumers and stakeholders alike to join them on this journey towards a more environmentally friendly and healthier future.

News Credits: New Sunbites packaging made with 50% recycled plastic

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