Are Potato Chip Bags Recyclable?

Potato chips are one of the most popular snacks, earning the companies that manufacture them millions every year.

But with a high number of buyers comes one major concern – what happens to all those bags the potato chips come in?

As luck would have it, that’s what we are going to talk about today.

Can an empty potato chip bag be recycled?

Most empty potato chip bags can’t be recycled and shouldn’t be thrown in the recycle bin.

This is because they are usually made from propylene-coated aluminum. This material is difficult to recycle – separating the plastic and aluminum parts is hard.

Are potato chip bags biodegradable?

Because of the material they are made of, most chip bags aren’t biodegradable and can’t be composted. However, several companies have attempted to create biodegradable packaging for their chips.

One such company is Pepsi.

Just over a decade ago, this company launched a biodegradable bag for their SunChips brand, taking the world by storm.

While many complained that the bags were too loud, Pepsi continued tweaking the design till they created a quieter product that was still biodegradable. But the jury was out – people didn’t like these bags, SunChips took a hit, and Pepsi had no choice but to discontinue the bags.

This was not the end of biodegradable potato chip bags though – since then, several brands have launched such bags. These include New Zealand’s Proper Crisps and the UK’s Two Farmers.

Since both these bags are made of plant-based material, they can be composted and will fully decompose over a few months. The Proper Crisps bags can even be recycled through New Zealand’s Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme.

How do you properly dispose of empty chip bags?

Unless they are biodegradable, you should throw empty chip bags in the trash.

Is there anything you can do with empty, old chip bags besides throwing them out?

Before you have to throw away empty chip bags, you can reuse them for personal projects first. Here are a few things you could do:

Use them as gift bags

After you turn your empty potato chip bags inside out, wash them, and leave them out to dry, you can use them as mylar-style gift bags.

Just look for a cute ribbon to tie them with and you’ll be fine.

Repurpose as carrying bags during nature walks

If you regularly go on nature walks, you can use old empty potato chip bags to hold pine cones, berries, or anything else you collect along the way.

Use as a placemat during a picnic

If you don’t have any placemats for your next picnic, you can carry a large empty potato chip bag instead.

You can use it to create 2 one-time use placemats once you reach the picnic site.

Use as a trash can for your car

If you don’t know where to store all those sweet wrappers and dirty serviettes that you rack up during your road trips, an old potato chip bag could be the makeshift trash can you need.

Reuse! Reuse! Reuse!

When it comes to dealing with empty potato chip bags, the best strategy is to reuse them as much as possible before throwing them away!

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