Boulder Canyon Natural Foods claims that its compostable package for its All Natural Kettle Cooked Potato Chip line is the first developed for the natural snack food category. The 7.5-ounce bag is made from wood pulp sourced from plantations that have Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) or similar certification. The new packaging is currently available at select Whole Foods stores across the United States.
The compostable packaging is made from materials that are certified to meet the “Specification for Compostable Plastics” standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials. They can be composted in home or industrial composters, recycled through approved organic recycling programs, or incinerated at modern incineration plants.
The compostable bag has a 180 days or less compostability measure per the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). The bags were developed through a partnership using NatureFlex brand film from Innovia Films and Genpak.
A recent study from Global Industry Analysts indicates that biodegradables represent the fastest growing segment in the packaging industry.
Boulder Canyon says the wood pulp bag “feels” and “sounds” like a traditional paper bag of chips compared to noisier corn starch-based bags on the market to date.
The company’s comments are in response to recent complaints by consumers that the SunChips compostable bag, introduced earlier this year, is too noisy. They have compared the noise to a “revving motorcycle” and “glass breaking,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
One consumer recorded a 95 decibel level with a RadioShack sound meter, according to the article. In comparison, another Frito-lay brand traditional plastic bag recorded a 77 decibel level.
Brad Rodgers, Frito-Lay’s North American manager of sustainable packaging, told the newspaper the bags are loud due to the new polymers’ higher “glass transition temperature” — when the polymers transition from a harder glasslike state to a rubber state above room temperature. He says the bag gets “kind of crispy and crunchy.”