The move will see the outer plastic packaging on millions of Walkers 22- and 24- bag multipacks be replaced with a new cardboard design which reduces the amount of virgin plastic used by the firm.
The new outer packaging is being roll-out in all major supermakets in the UK in the coming weeks after a successful trial with Tesco.
Alongside the new packaging design, Walkers has invested in a new stretch film to wrap around pallets before these are distributed to retailers. This is produced using nanotechnology which puts tiny air bubbles into the film to reduce the amount of plastic used, but retains the same strength and stretch needed.
Walkers said that the use of this new technology would lead to a 40% reduction in virgin plastic year-on-year, compared to the previous film. By reducing the amount of fossil-fuel based virgin plastic in the shrink wrap this will also reduce the company’s annual carbon emissions by 465 tonnes, it said
The investment marks a major step towards its owning company PepsiCo’s goal of eliminating virgin fossil-based plastic from its crisp and snack bags across Europe by 2030.
Simon Devaney, sustainable packaging director, PepsiCo UK & Ireland said: “We are constantly exploring new scalable solutions and this investment marks an important step forward, delivering a huge reduction in virgin plastic across some of our best-selling ranges, while also helping to tackle our carbon footprint.
“Reducing virgin plastic across our supply chain is a key part of our commitment to creating a world where packaging never becomes waste.”