Recyclers take pop at 'idiotic' Pringles tube

Lucozade Sport bottles are also under fire for failing to be environmentally-friendly...

Recyclers take pop at 'idiotic' Pringles tube

Festival goers limbo-dancing at the Pringles Party Tour area at V Festival. Picture by: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

Britain's Recycling Association wants Pringles to stop popping.

The body, which represents over 80 recycling organisations producing more than two million tonnes of recyclate annually, has hit out at the hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped snack – or more specifically, its environmentally-unfriendly packaging.

Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said of the famous tube:

"What idiot designed this in terms of recyclability? We’ve got a cardboard tube, a metal bottom, a plastic lid.

"A Pringles box with a cardboard tube, a metal bottom and a plastic lid. The Pringles factor – right at the design stage, we’ve got to get that right. What we’re putting in our recycling bins has got to be recyclable. We’ve got to get away from the Pringles factor."

As well as spotlighting the Kellogg-owned brand's design failures, Ellin also called out everything from coffee cup lids and straws to shampoo sachets.

The "number two villain" in his opinion? Lucozade Sport.

"This bottle is so confusing to computer scanners that it has to be picked by hand off the recycling conveyor," he said. "Then it often just gets chucked away."

Ellin was speaking as he threw his support behind a newly-launched $2m competition to reduce plastic waste in the world's oceans. Backed by long-distance sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur and the Prince of Wales, it is targeting the 30% of packaging that cannot be recycled because of the way it is constructed.

Pringles has responded by saying its packaging actually reduces food waste because it keeps the chips so fresh.

A spokesperson said:

“We take our responsibilities to the planet we all share seriously and are continuously working to improve our environmental performance.

“All parts of a Pringles can act as a barrier to protect the chips from environmental contamination and to keep them fresh. The freshness of our chips means a longer shelf life, which minimises food waste.”

Lucozade, meanwhile, acknowledged its environmental responsibilities and noted that it had reduced its use of plastic by 540 tonnes over the past year. A spokesperson said:

"We welcome any technological breakthroughs that support this ambition."