Back in 2009, Frito-Lay did a good thing. It introduced the world’s first manufactured 100% biodegradable packaging for its healthy SunChips snack products. Made from plant-based materials, the SunChips bags are said to decompose completely in just 14 weeks, returning to Mother Nature all that it borrowed. Better yet, designers weren’t asked to make major sacrifices. SunChips packaging, undoubtedly printed using vegetable-based inks, could be as colorful and detailed in design as its less eco-friendly competitors.
Everyone should be happy, right? What’s not to like about a tasty whole grain snack that is good for the body and good for the earth. Well, for one, the noise pollution. The high decibel crinkling sound made by the environmentally friendly packaging every time the eater reached into the bag for another handful of chips was so loud that it made it hard to hear the TV and annoyed roommates who were trying to get some sleep. Frito-Lay tried to put a good face on it, admitting that yes, the bags were a little noisier, but not a big deal. The uproar on Facebook and YouTube, however, refused to quiet down. Consumers felt they shouldn’t have to put up with ear torture just to help the earth.