The brand has calculated that the move will allow it to reduce its usage of virgin plastic by 180 tonnes per year, as well as reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with each pack.
Initially rolled out on a trial basis in 800 Tesco stores, the change received positive feedback and will now be launched permanently across all major supermarkets over the next few months.
Walkers claims that the paper outer bags are a first for savoury snacks flexible packaging in the UK and can be recycled kerbside by consumers.
PepsiCo Europe, the parent company of Walkers, plans to eliminate virgin fossil-based plastic in crisp and snack bags by 2030. This ambition applies to UK brands including Walkers, Snack A Jacks, Doritos, Quavers and Wotsits, and it set to be delivered through the use of 100% recycled or renewable content.
PepsiCo generated more than $86bn (£70.1bn) in net revenue in 2022 and has committed to work towards reaching net zero emissions by 2040.
In addition, Walkers has rolled out new cardboard outer packaging for millions of larger multipacks sold in UK supermarkets. Meanwhile, PepsiCo is trialling bagless Snack A Jacks multipacks, which use a tape-like strip to hold together individual packets rather than a larger outer bag.
Gareth Callan, sustainable packaging lead at PepsiCo for the UK and Ireland said that the firm was able to keep “constantly innovating” as part of its bid to remove virgin plastic from its packaging.
Callan continued: “It’s exciting to see our successful trial of this paper pack lead to a nationwide roll-out. At this scale, the new packaging will deliver a huge reduction in virgin plastic, while also helping to lower our carbon footprint.”
In other news, food and drink manufacturers from across Wales unveiled more than 200 new products at BlasCymru / TasteWales last week, an achievement minister Lesley Griffiths praised in an interview with Food Manufacture.