PepsiCo is trialing paper-based outer packaging for two flavors of its Walkers Baked six-pack multipacks in a move aimed at replacing plastic and facilitating higher recycling rates.

PepsiCo describes it as a first for savory snacks flexible packaging in the UK.

The trial pack is reportedly widely recyclable and will replace plastic outer wrapping on more than 300,000 six-pack multipacks of two Walkers Baked flavors—Sea Salt and Cheese and Onion.

Shoppers have been able to buy the new trial packs at 800 Tesco stores across the UK as of March 1 (as supplies last), and PepsiCo will be asking shoppers for their feedback on the new design and its functionality. This is PepsiCo’s second major sustainable packaging trial with Tesco in recent months.

Ahead of the Baked pilot, PepsiCo rolled out new cardboard outer packaging for millions of Walkers 22- and 24-bag multipacks to major supermarkets in the UK following a successful trial with Tesco. This new and improved cardboard packaging will reduce the amount of virgin plastic that PepsiCo uses in its supply chain annually.

"With this latest trial, people can buy a selection of Walkers Baked multipacks in paper-based outer packaging that can be easily and widely recycled with regular recycling at home. Feedback is so important in helping us deliver the best possible experience for consumers, and we can't wait to hear people's thoughts when the packs land in stores,” says Rachael Smith, senior marketing manager, Walkers.

PepsiCo says the trial marks another step in the company’s journey toward eliminating virgin fossil-based plastic from its crisp and snack bags across Europe by 2030, which is part of pep+, the company’s global health and sustainability transformation plan.

Gareth Callan, packaging sustainability Lead, PepsiCo UK & Ireland, says, "We're always exploring new packaging solutions that can help us reduce virgin fossil plastic use, in pursuit of our broader sustainable packaging goals. After more than two years in development, we're looking forward to testing this paper-based outer material with our consumers to better assess the role it could play in our future packaging portfolio.”