Walkers crisps, one of the largest buyers of British potatoes, is turning its potato waste into fertiliser to reduce its carbon footprint.
Using carbon-capture technology, potato peelings leftover from making crisps will be transformed into low-carbon fertiliser and returned to farms where potatoes for Walkers crisps are grown across the UK.
Following a promising trial of the fertiliser, which was applied to potato seed beds this year, Walkers is planning to install specialist equipment at its Leicester factory next year to begin wider production in preparation for its 2022 crop.
Once supplied at scale, the fertiliser is expected to reduce Walkers’ potato-based carbon emissions by 70 per cent. The technology is designed to connect to the factory’s anaerobic digestor, which uses food waste to generate nearly 75 per cent of the electricity used at the plant.
The newly installed equipment will use the by-product waste from the anaerobic digestion process to create the fertiliser.
This initiative forms part of a broader programme from Walkers, which it says has previously helped UK growers achieve a 50 per cent cut in their water use and carbon emissions and could set Walkers on a path to becoming carbon-negative in its potato production over the next decade.