Royal Mail begs Brits: ‘stop posting crisp packets’

Environmental protest against Walkers causing a headache for postal workers

(Image credit: Twitter)

Royal Mail has released a statement asking its customers to stop sending empty packets of Walkers crisps through the post.

Retired Pontypridd schoolteacher Geraint Ashcroft came up with the idea of bombarding the crisp manufacturer with empty bags to protest its use of non-recyclable packaging.

Using social media hashtag “PacketInWalkers”, campaign group 38 Degrees urged fellow environmentalists to share pictures of themselves putting address labels on empty crisp bags and putting them in the post, Sky News reports.

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“By posting our packets to them, we can bring the crisis right to Walkers' door,” one activist wrote. “Walkers bosses won't be able to escape our call.”

Royal Mail is “obliged by law to deliver the bags to Walkers' freepost address”, the BBC reports.

However, the postal service says that the campaign has become a headache for employees, who have to sort the packets by hand because they cannot be processed with regular mail.

“Crisp packets can't go through the machines. They are not normal mail items; therefore my hardworking colleagues need to manually sort them, which adds to time,” a Royal Mail spokesperson said.

“We strongly encourage customers not to post anything into the postal system which is not properly packaged.”

38 Degrees has now asked those who want to take part in the campaign to place their crisp packets in envelopes before dropping them in the letterbox.

Those who want to make their displeasure known without eliciting the ire of postal workers can make use of more traditional forms of protest.

A petition “calling on Walkers to improve on its 2025 target to create new recyclable packets” has already attracted upwards of 300,000 signatures, says the Daily Mirror.

A Walkers spokesperson said the company acknowledged “the efforts being made to bring the issue of packaging waste to our attention”.

They added: “The returned packets will be used in our research, as we work towards our commitment of improving the recyclability of our packaging.”

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