Making paint out of post-consumer crisp packaging

Crisps are one of the most consumed salty snacks, accounting for 35.5% of the global savoury snack market. Around 6 billion packets of crisps are consumed annually only in the UK, equating to more than 16 million bags a day. These crisp packets are not accepted for in-home recycling, due to their multi-material composition. As a result, the current destiny of the packaging is landfills, incineration, or littering the environment.

Crisp Colours explores all the materials used in the packaging to find ways of recycling the crisp bag. This project is the precursor of Crispy.

A single crisp bag is made out of four different materials: two types of PP films, a metallised PP or PET film and ink. These materials are recovered by using a specialised separation process. The plastic films are recycled into a paintbrush, including the bristles, while the ink used for branding is extracted and made into paint. The ink extraction is completed by scraping with the help of a store-bought solvent. This process mixes all the colours used for the packaging branding, resulting in a colour representative of each flavour.