Recycling drive sees 8,000 packets retrieved from St Andrews streets.
Pensioners have picked up more than 8,000 crisp packets from the streets of a Fife town.
Residents of Bield’s Argyle Court housing development in St Andrews began the recycling initiative at the start of the year to help prevent the empty packets from ending up in the sea or in landfill sites.
The bags are then given to local high schools as part of a scheme that allows students to claim school vouchers in exchange for recycled crisp packets.
Argyle Court resident Pauline Spencer says she came up with the idea after seeing a clip on TV of a 32-year-old crisp packet being pulled from the sea.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw that the crisp bag that had been in the sea for so long was still perfectly readable. Even after 32 years, the lettering showed no signs of disappearing or degrading.
“It’s so important to do what we can to look after the environment, not just for our own sake but for our children and theirs to come.”
Crisp packets are often seen as difficult or impossible to recycle due to their combined flexible plastic layer and metalised film. But, under the new scheme, crisp manufacturers Walkers and recycling firm TerraCycle have combined their efforts to develop a new recycling solution for the packets.
The method involves cleaning and shredding the bags which allows them to be melted into small plastic pellets which are then transformed into new rigid plastic items, such as garden furniture.
There are over 8500 drop-off locations for crisp packets across the UK to ensure that everyone can get involved.
Pauline said: “I’m amazed by how far the scheme has come. It just goes to show that there’s no age limit to making a huge difference in the world.
“I sincerely hope that I can encourage more people to recycle their crisp packets at local schools, together, we can make a really big difference.”