A band of Fife pensioners are battling the war on waste one crisp packet at a time.
Residents of Bield Housing’s Argyle Court complex in St Andrews have collected more than 8,000 empty crisp packets in the local area.
Pauline Spencer, who lives in Bield’s Argyle Court, began a recycling initiative at the start of the year to help prevent crisp packets from ending up in landfill and the sea.
Fellow residents at Argyle Court and their families collected the bags for local high schools as part of a scheme set up by manufacturer Walkers that allows students to claim school vouchers in exchange for recycled crisp packets.
Pauline was initially driven to make a difference after she saw a clip on TV showing a 32-year-old crisp packet being pulled from the sea.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw that the crisp bag that had been in the sea for so long was still perfectly readable.
“Even after 32 years, the lettering showed no signs of disappearing or degrading.
“It’s so important to do what we can to look after the environment, not just for our own sake but for our children and theirs to come.”
Crisp packets are often seen as difficult or impossible to recycle due to their combined flexible plastic layer and metalised film but Walkers and recycling firm TerraCycle have developed a new recycling solution.
Bags are cleaned and shredded to be melted into plastic pellets which are then transformed into new rigid plastic items, such as garden furniture.
Pauline said: “I’m amazed by how far the scheme has come. It just goes to show that there’s no age limit to making a huge difference in the world.
“I sincerely hope that I can encourage more people to recycle their crisp packets at local schools, together, we can make a really big difference.”