Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A notorious fake in the compost bin

Imagine my surprise when I dug into the bowels of my compost bin to find a bright and shiny SunChips bag. This is the famous "WORLD's FIRST 100% COMPOSTABLE CHIP PACKAGE" by Frito Lay.

I remember buying the bag of chips last summer thinking I could help "green the world, one bag at a time" as the package states. I bought only the one bag because when you went to close it the sound was similar to firecrackers going off in your hand. This feature made it very difficult to have those midnight snacks without anyone hearing it.

I dutifully tore up the bag and proudly placed it in my compost bucket. Last October after only a few months on the market Frito Lay announced the bag was being discontinued due to the irritating noise it made.

So, this bag rested in my compost bin for a least nine months and then came out as shiny as a new nickel. (I took a photo of the bag only after rinsing off some of the debris.) This is the same compost pile, mind you, that reduced hundreds of coffee filters, hard-as-rock decorative gourds and even a few misplaced chicken bones to a crumbly humus.

I hope the Frito Lay marketing genius who came up with this "green" concept is made to stand in the corner -- a corner filled with to the ceiling with rich black compost, no less.


  1. The bag is made with certified bioplastic PLA that is intended to be compostable in a hot compost bin. I believe the literature - and the bag itself- states the requirement of hot compost.

    Did your compost bin attain warm or hot conditions, and for how long?

  2. I could almost smell your compost from your vivid description.....and I really like roasted red pepper humus(from chickpeas) until you referred to your pile as "a crumbly humus"...UGH!!!

  3. Such bags take a very long time to break down. Even in the warmest of compost piles. They are not recommend for household composting. FYI these bags are largely considered a marketing ploy.