What’s Going On: The SunChips Bag Edition

Posted on October 26, 2010 by Courtney

Image credit: current.com

A couple of weeks ago, The Greenists launched a campaign to save the SunChips bag. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the gist: We were big fans of the biodegradable, compostable bags SunChips used to offer in place of plastic bags. Unfortunately, a lot of people did not agree. The bags made of plant-based materials were more crinkly and crackly than plastic bags, which some people found unacceptable. A lot of these people contacted SunChips to complain, and in response, SunChips decided to go back to plastic bags on all varieties of their chips except one.

Well, we think that is unacceptable. Because we would rather listen to a noisy chip bag than live with the knowledge that more and more plastic bags are going to litter our planet, The Greenists launched a campaign to save the biodegradable SunChips bag.

I’m pleased to report that in less than two weeks, we’ve banked 89 signatures on our online petition, and our Facebook cause page has 27 members! We’d really appreciate it if you’d consider taking part in both. When we have enough supporters, we’ll contact Frito Lay (which owns SunChips) and show them that we still prefer compostable bags over plastic ones, even if they’re loud.

If you’re on the fence about this, please consider a simple cost vs. benefit scenario. Are the bags loud? Yes, they are. That’s the cost. But ask yourself: How much does that affect your daily life? Probably not much, and probably not any more than a regular plastic chip bag does.

But the benefit is that if SunChips goes back to the biodegradable bags, that means millions fewer plastic bags sitting in our landfills for decades after you finish those chips. Plus, plastic bags are made from oil, which is a non-renewable resource that is pumped out of the ground (and sometimes spills into our oceans), while the biodegradable bags are made from plants grown in the sunshine. The process requires less energy and it doesn’t deplete our non-renewable resources.

In my opinion, the benefits greatly outweigh the cost. Do you agree?


  1. Oh man. I actually don’t agree. I think it’s good they got rid of the bag. They made a noble effort, but they made a product that people don’t want, and worse, a product that people made fun of.

    What they should do is keep finding a polymer that’s biodegradable, but not annoying. By keeping the hated bag on the shelf, they’re sending a message that being green has to be a sacrifice (in this case sacrificing a quiet, peaceful moment of chip eating.) It’s like selling a hybrid car that only goes 55 MPH.

    Really, we should be having a conversation about the devastation of most corn farms, and where does Sun Chips get their ingredients from? Can they make a bigger difference by going organic or local while we wait for technology to come up with a better bag? In the meantime, it’s just kind of greenwashing.

    But I’m actually trying to abstain from this argument because I think Sun Chips are gross, and I never eat them anyway. :)

    October 26th, 2010 at 5:22 am
    Comment by Noelle
  2. i really think everyone is losing the plot why does it matter if the chips make a noise is a rattling bag the worst thing to happen,isnt making a stand against plastic bags and stuff that is a real pest,all bags used for any kind of packaging should be biodegradable allways everytime if we all have to pay a copper or two more so be it, small price to help our planet. oh by the way i have never tasted the chips….

    October 26th, 2010 at 10:52 am
    Comment by r.w.tabor [bob]
  3. I have to say that I agree with Bob. I don’t see a noisy bag as being a hardship. I do think it’s important to keep green from getting a bad rap, but it’s a chip bag! The whole point is to get the chips from factory to store to home. If you’re a Sun Chips fan and the bag bugs you, I don’t see why it’s an issue at all to just transfer the chips into a jar or other food storage container and compost the bag.

    October 27th, 2010 at 9:34 pm
    Comment by Allie
  4. I wanted to sign the petition but it is requiring me to agree for it to link to my FB page and I don’t want to do that (or share that kind of info). Perhaps this may be keeping others from signing too?

    November 3rd, 2010 at 10:30 pm
    Comment by Jen

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