According to The New York Times, in 2009 Frito Lay,
dealers…um…producers of many varieties of junk snacks for our increasingly obese population, introduced compostable bags for SunChips, a significant step towards sustainable practices.
While Frito Lay’s accomplishment — switching to a bag that decomposes in a compost pile in just 14 weeks, while typical plastic bags take decades to break down completely — is obviously a great development, no one, apparently, counted on the backlash:
But while environmentalists cheered, an unexpected revolt broke out among some SunChips fans, who complained that the new bag’s crinkly plant-based material is obnoxiously loud. Aided by YouTube and Facebook, their protests spread far and wide.
“It’s the loudest bag in the world. What is the point of this?” said Patrick Sandora, a blogger, in a YouTube video that migrated onto NBC’s Today show.
“Now, if you can’t see why there’s a problem there, then I guess you don’t eat chips while watching TV,” remarked another YouTube commenter, after retrieving a chip from the high-volume bag.
See, saving the planet, while admirable, MUST take a backseat to the American Way! The needs of couch potatoes are much more important than addressing global climate change. Oh, and don’t mess with corporate profits:
Bowing to the complaints Frito-Lay, announced this week that it was scrapping the renewable bag for five of its six SunChips flavors.
To be fair, Frito Lay did retain the compostable bags for their best selling flavor of chips, and the Times goes on to point out that the company is working on a quieter alternative.
Meanwhile, other sustainability news I came across yesterday included the pending installation of solar panels on the White House, and the U.S. military reducing the use of fossil fuels where possible.
The former, while hardly original, seems a decent enough symbollic gesture, and yet the latter is, well, a farce. The article makes it clear that the military’s newfound commitment to renewable energy has nothing to do with decreasing their ecological footprint and everything to do with optimizing their ability to continue engaging in war.
It’s classic zero-sum. Save a few lives by contributing less to global climate change, so that we can more effectively wipe out more lives on the battlefield.
(Sorry, folks, for the depressing tone here lately. I’ll do my best to lighten things up soon.)