Pringles tube tries to wake from 'recycling nightmare'

2020/10/01 18:16

Today's Vocabulary

1.villain (n)
something or someone considered harmful or dangerous

2. criticised (v)
to express disapproval of someone or something

3. compostable (adj) 
something can be used as compost when it decays

4. trivial (adj) 
having little value or importance

5. edible (adj) 
suitable or safe for eating

6. distinctive (adj) 
easy to recognize because it is different from other things

7. barrier (n) 
anything used or acting to block  someone from going somewhere or from doing something, or to block something from happening

Pringles tube tries to wake from 'recycling nightmare'

The distinctive Pringles tube is being re-designed after criticism that it’s almost impossible to recycle.

The current container for the potato-based snack was condemned as a recycler’s nightmare. It’s a complex construction with a metal base, plastic cap, metal tear-off lid, and foil-lined cardboard sleeve.

The Recycling Association dubbed it the number one recycling villain – along with the Lucozade Sports bottle.

The existing version is particularly troublesome because it combines so many different materials. Some 90% of the new can is paper. Around 10% is a polyal (plastic) barrier that seals the interior to protect the food against oxygen and moisture which would damage the taste.

Mr Simon Ellin said the polyal-coated card might be recyclable but the product would need to be tested in recycling mills.

And what of the much-criticised Lucozade Sports bottle? Mr Ellin said its unchanged basic design was still a big problem, as machines found it hard to differentiate the plastic in the bottle and the plastic that makes up its outer sleeve.

He called on the makers, Suntory, to reduce the size of the external sleeve, as it has with the new Ribena bottle. Suntory said it was working on a new material made entirely from seaweed extract that was 100% edible, biodegradable and compostable.

Environmentalists say that trivial changes like these won’t solve the world’s ecological crises – but on a large scale they’ll make a contribution.


  1. Have you ever gone back to the drawing board?
  2. Should all packaging be 100% recyclable?
  3. How good are you at recycling?

“If you're not buying recycled products, you're not really recycling.”

Ed Begley, Jr.