Home > Editorial > Sun Chip Bags Signal The Eventual Death of the Earth

Sun Chip Bags Signal The Eventual Death of the Earth

Sometimes the biggest disasters can be signaled early by the smallest or seemingly insignificant sign. The water in the vicinity of a volcano might have a sulfur taste, or rise to boiling temperatures. Earthquakes are preceded by much smaller quakes. The guy in the crow’s nest on the Titanic lost his binoculars. All seem small at the time, but all lead to big trouble. I believe that we have just witnessed a huge blow to the Green movement, that will eventually lead to our planet’s eventual destruction, and in the year 2050, aliens watching from afar will say it all started with Sun Chips.

Sun Chips is possibly my favorite brand of chips personally. I first discovered them while having frequent lunches at Subway a couple of years ago while taking a driving class. Since those lunches, I sought out Sun Chips at the grocery store, and Garden Salsa became a staple study snack for me. But then something happened, they got sustainable.

Introducing a 100% biodegradable bag, the first of its kind for chips, made out plant materials, Sun Chips decided to add a more Green approach to go along with their healthy image. Essentially, if you left an empty bag on the ground, it would start degrading, decomposing and giving its plant material back to the soil. No more chip bags littering picnic areas, or anywhere else for that matter.

Only one problem though: It was noisy.

Too noisy apparently.

The plant-based material sounded like something akin to a particularly loud piece of aluminum foil. Before, it was the chips that would make noise. Now, the chips were drowned out by the excessively crinkly bag. The simplest of movement would awaken the chorus of the bag. Still, I assume that the bag went through the usual cascade of market and consumer research, and tinkering. If this plant-based material was ever going to be feasible, then Sun Chips probably invested boat loads of money to make it as consumer friendly as possible. Still, for people that wanted to sneak around their chips, or eat them as a midnight snack, their plans would be thwarted by the bag. The bag that would let anybody within a 100-meter radius know of its existence. Stealthy, it was not.

I was personally fine with it, being the environmentally conscious person I am, I embraced the bag, and poked fun at its noise. After all, it’s different, and I like different. Unfortunately for the company, this was also the time that my taste buds had grown tired of Sun Chips, and had moved almost exclusively to Lay’s Tangy Carolina Barbecue Chips. No offense to Sun Chips, but the Tangy Carolina Barbecue is just too damn good to pass up. No matter how unhealthy it is, no matter how bad for the environment the bag will be, until my taste buds get tired of it, Tangy Carolina Barbecue chips have me by a choke hold.

Fortunately for me, Lays is doing everything for the betterment of the environment short of also turning their bags biodegradable. It’s also free of trans-fats and other unhealthy additives, leading the chips to declare themselves “All Natural.”

In the end, after a year and a half of hearing consumer complaints, dealing with angry Facebook groups and consumer boycotts, Sun Chips has decided to silence the bags, mostly. The original flavor of Sun Chips, which is their 2nd most popular flavor, will keep its biodegradable nature. All the rest of the flavors however will go back to their original packaging.

So are consumers simply unwilling to put up with noise from their chip bags in order to have a better environment, or did Sun Chips simply make the bags unreasonably loud? These are questions probably only answerable by alien historians in the year 2050, but it is food for thought. How far are we willing to go to help the environment? What sacrifices are we willing to make? What conveniences are we willing to give up? Just how far are we willing to go?


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