A Community Effort to Recycle Crisp Packets

Eco-aware students at John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford are pioneering a new crisp packet stacker, invented by a school parent, in a quest to encourage recycling at school.

The kits were designed by Mr Nigel Gay, who said ‘we wanted to start recycling our crisp packets and were looking for a fun and neat way to collect and store them’.

The kits were generously donated by Penny Locke of Penny Post and built by Year 8 students Bella Walklet and Hannah Turner in the Tech Department.

The school Eco Club and members of the Student Leadership team have taken possession of the stackers and are making sure they are put to use. Year 11 Student Jonathan Kelly said ‘Litter and recycling is one of our initial priority missions for Eco Club and this is a really handy way to kick start that.’

The crisp packets are cleverly collected into ‘bales’ which are sent off via a member of the community to a Terracycle collection point in Thatcham, in a partnership with Walkers Crisps – though any crisp packet is accepted. The packets are extruded into plastic pellets to make new recycled products. The metal components of crisp packets add both sparkle and strength to the pellets. These are sold as raw materials to manufacturers that make them into products such as outdoor furniture, watering cans, floor tiles, playground surfacing and much more.

Some kits have also been sold at the Hungerford Food Festival Sunday Market.

Emily Aldridge, Senior Student Librarian and Eco Club member said ‘it’s a great, simple and practical design and we love it’.

Of course, the million dollar question of inspiration for inventor Mr Gay is, ‘what is your favourite flavour of crisps’? ‘That’s easy’, he replied, pickled onion Monster Munch!’

Please see here for more information about where to get your own crisp packet stacker and local Terracycle drop-off places in our area.

Photo: Year 11 students Kaye Buckland, Jonathan Kelly, Eliza Varodin and Emily Aldridge.
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