By now, you’d like to think we’re all pretty up on what’s eco-friendly and what’s not but some household names still lack when it comes to green credentials.
A snack staple for decades, Pringles are now sold in over 140 countries, but with such large scale distribution there should be a great sense of corporate social responsibility and that’s why brand owner Kellogg’s is currently trialling a new packaging design.
Pringles iconic tall cylinder tube was the brainchild of chemist and food storage technician Fredric J. Baur back in 1966.
Allegedly Baur loved the design so much so, that he informed his family he wanted to be buried in his invention.
Naturally, his family initially laughed off the remark, but when Baur died, his children honoured his wishes and “briefly debated what flavour to use”.
FYI, they settled on the red label original.
Made from a combination of different materials including a metal base, plastic cap, metal tear-off lid and foil-lined cardboard sleeve the current tube guarantees freshness with a shelf-life of 15-months, but its complex construction has been dubbed the number one recycling villain by The Recycling Association.
This has prompted a trial of a much simpler can that has been rolled out in selected Tesco stores.
This is good news for the environment (and avid recyclers) but the biggest redesign challenge has been centred on how to retain the taste while protecting against oxygen and moisture.
The solution so far has been to use a polyal (plastic) barrier that seals the interior. The polyal makes up around 10% of the materials used with the other 90% being paper.
There are currently two options in regards to the lid – a recyclable plastic lid and a recyclable paper lid which both guarantee the same distinctive “pop” we have all come to know and love.
Speaking on the new design, The Recycling Association told BBC News: “This new version is an improvement, and we broadly welcome it”.
“But, frankly, if they are going to stick to a plastic lid that’ll just add to problems with plastic pollution – people on picnics leave them behind and they find their way into streams and the sea. That plastic lid has got to go”.
So, it seems Pringle’s new tube may well still be a work in progress.
Images via Alamy / Kellogg’s