Chicago Sun-Times
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I'm Compostable!

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The new bags for Sun-Chips practically scream out that they are compostable, really.

It's not the large-sized type that says, "World's First 100% Compostable Chip Package" that I refer to, it's the actual sound of the package, whether you are opening it or digging into it for some chips, and that sound is REALLY loud.

On its website, Sun-Chips (made by Frito-Lay) explains that over the past five years they've reduced by more than 5 million pounds the amount of packaging they use. After that, the company changed the material used to make its packaging films. "Our traditional package is constructed of multiple layers of polyolefin materials, which are derived from petroleum by-products. While these materials are extremely efficient (in both cost and performance), we challenged ourselves to find new, emerging packaging film technologies. After 4 years of research and field trials, we have found a packaging film that meets our performance expectations. That material is known as PLA.

PLA stands for polylactic acid, or polylactide, a versatile polymer made from plants. PLA is made with plants that grow annually instead of petroleum (which takes millions of years to form)."

Sun-Chips says these fully-compostable bags will break down (in hot compost piles) in about 14 weeks. OK, so the bags are made from plant material and not petroleum? Great! But about that noise ...

They know. "Truth be told, our new bag sounds a bit different than our previous bags," according to the Sun-Chips website. "That's because plant-based materials have different sound properties than the materials used to create our old bags. So although this version is a little bit louder, we hope you'll appreciate the change and the positive environmental impact it will have."

Sure, that makes me feel so much better about my snack choices. But so much for trying to furtively chow down on a few handfuls of chips at home, when everyone else in my building is asleep; or at work, when half of your office will know you've got the Sun-Chips bag.

I hope this doesn't give Ben and Jerry any ideas.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.



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This page contains a single entry by James Scalzitti published on July 12, 2010 8:45 PM.

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