A pensioner has blasted companies who use non-recyclable products in their packaging after unearthing a 20-year-old crisp packet in a popular beauty spot.
Voluntary litter picker Eiddwen Thomas said she was ‘disgusted’ when she spotted the Tesco wrapper with a 1998 best before date near the foothills of Mount Snowdon, in Wales on Sunday.
The mum was horrified by the crisp packet that was on sale in the same year Google was founded – adding that it proves how damaging non-recyclable packaging can be.
Eiddwen, 65, claims she regularly finds other items such as cans of pop and packets which also date back to the last century.
Tesco declined to comment on the discovery but in 2017 they launched their Little Helps plan, which promises to make all packaging ‘fully recyclable or compostable by 2025.’
Retired care assistant Eiddwen from Llanberis, Wales, said: ‘When I found that packet and saw the old design and date, I was flabbergasted.
‘I think it’s diabolical that some companies still use these materials even today.
‘I’m on a mission to stop using non-recyclable plastic now and that’s why I wanted to share this image.
‘It’s awful that companies are allowed to package products using this kind of material. You don’t appreciate it when you’re told that plastic bags and packaging aren’t biodegradable until you see this.
‘I couldn’t believe that something from 1998 would still be around, almost fully intact. The only thing giving it away was the date and packaging design.’
The mum of two has now termed non-recyclable waste ‘the bane of nature’ after noticing the negative affect it had on the area, which is legally protected for conservation purposes.
Eiddwen said: ‘I’m part of a fairly new litter picking group in Gwynedd, by the foothills of Snowdonia.
‘We’re trying to get rid of the old rubbish before the new brambles grow again. We’d been doing it for a few weeks.
‘I think the reason this packet was still there is that nobody had been litter picking there in 20 years, but the area is nice and clean now.
‘You wonder what is going to happen to all the rubbish that is still being produced now. Will it ever break down?
‘We have earbuds which have such a terrible impact on wildlife and their habitats.
‘We won’t realise the true effects until it’s too late. Non-recyclable materials are the bane of nature.
‘Manufacturers need to take a look at this now and work harder to eliminate plastics.
‘I understand that supermarkets are doing more now to make sure their materials are more biodegradable, compared to two decades ago, but it’s still not enough.
‘In Wales, we started charging for carrier bags and now you rarely see them on the floors. I know England do that too.’
Greenpeace are renewing calls to manufacturers to start developing more recyclable materials.
A Greenpeace spokesman said: ‘Crisp packets are just one of countless types of plastic packaging that are produced in vast quantities and cannot be recycled.
‘They might look like they are made of foil, but plastic film inside crisp packets makes them non-recyclable.
‘They are sent to landfill at best, but often end up polluting the environment for many decades.
‘Action from the companies producing and selling throwaway plastic packaging, like crisp packets, is absolutely vital to stem the flow of plastic entering our oceans.
‘Companies should eliminate non-essential and non-recyclable ‘problem plastics’ immediately, and they should go beyond recyclable plastic packaging.
‘They also need to reduce the volume of single-use plastic they are producing and switch to truly sustainable solutions.’
Tesco declined to comment.