Bye bye noise, hello landfill

Several months ago I wrote about the new 100% compostable SunChips bags. I thought they were cool, but did admit they were a little on the noisy side.

While it wasn’t that big of a deal to me, it was for many Americans. Frito Lay stopped using the bags this month, because of an 11% drop in sales since the launch of the sustainable bags.

Why was the noise that troublesome? Were people trying to sneak chips in private, and the loud bag drew attention to their constant snacking?

If it bothered people that much, couldn’t they just dump the chips into a plastic bowl with a lid? I guess that was too much work.

There’s a Facebook page called “Sorry But I Can’t Hear You Over This SunChips Bag” and almost 51,000 people like it.

According to the blog,, “… mainstream American consumers value their personal comfort more than they value the environment.”

Kate Sheppard goes even further when talking about Americans’ resistance to change on Mother Jones, “In the grand scheme of things, this is the absolute, bare-minimum level of sacrifice Americans are asked to make. They still get to eat the same chips, they just come from a different bag… But apparently that’s still too much. Even worse is the fact that Americans can’t muster the support to pass a climate bill, but a bunch of angry couch potatoes can successfully mobilize to force Frito-Lay to drop their innovative packaging. If the sound of a crinkly eco-chip bag is too much to handle, then the human species really is screwed.”

This is a strong statement, but I think it’s deserved. 

I will admit that I haven’t bought Sun Chips since I wrote the last piece (and my mom bought those), but that’s because I try not to buy snacks. If I do, I will eat them, noisy bag or not. And I’d rather my children snack on fruit than chips.

The silver lining is that SunChips will continue packaging specially marked packages in the noisy, compostable material. And they are working on making a quieter compostable bag.

What are your thoughts? Did the bag’s noise bother you? Did it matter? Do you think Americans are that lazy and resistant to change?


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