At the Food Hub we’re all about supporting local businesses whilst bringing environmental benefit. We’re always excited whenever a local producer innovates to improve their sustainability and we make sure we support them in any way we can. This is the case with Savoursmith’s new crisp flavours, around which we are running our follow-up/add-on to the Green Coffee Shop Scheme: the (unimaginatively named) ‘crisp packet recycling scheme’ (better name suggestions welcome).
Savoursmiths produce their range of flamboyantly-flavoured crisps using potatoes grown on their farm near Duxford, making them Cambridge’s most local crisp brand. Whilst many of their original range of crisps have indulgent flavours, they’ve returned to more familiar combinations (with their own special twist) with ‘Desert Salt and Vinegar’ and ‘Somerset Cheddar and Shallot’.
Relevantly, these two new crisp flavours come in code 5 polypropylene packaging. This means that, unlike most crisp packets that are made from a mix of metal and plastic and so are notoriously difficult to recycle, they are fully recyclable. However, they still require specialist processing (it’s just much less energy intensive), and so cannot currently be thrown into your general recycling. This is where the Food Hub comes in. We are providing all retailers and caterers who stock the new crisps with a receptacle to collect the used packaging. In the true spirit of reduce, reuse, recycle, we are reusing the same box the crisps are delivered in – plus an informative sticker – for this purpose.
We strongly suspect that the wider crisp industry is moving in the direction of this sort of packaging. However, as usual, it’s smaller businesses that innovate and try out new things first. One benefit for us of the larger crisp manufacturers coming on board with this packaging is that we hope it might make it easier for us to recycle the crisp packets we are collecting at local recycling plants such as Ellgia, near Huntington, rather than sending them to Terracycle in London, for example. Currently, we have to meet a minimum delivery quantity of 1 tonne – which is a lot of crisp packets for us to collect!
Look out for our snazzy recycling boxes around Cambridgeshire. We’ll be posting updates on social media of places that are onboard with the scheme.