Crisps giant Walkers has announced plans to turn potato peelings into fertiliser in a bid to reduce emissions from its potato supply chain by 70%.
The company has teamed up with clean-technology firm CCm Technologies to use its carbon-capture technology at its Leicester factory to turn potato peelings from the crisp-making process into a low-carbon fertiliser.
Walkers is planning to supply the fertiliser to the farms where its potatoes are grown, and it says the early trials of the product on potato seed beds this year have been a success.
The CCm Technologies equipment will use by-product waste from an anaerobic digestor at the Walkers factory, which uses food waste to generate nearly 75% of the electricity used at the plant, to create the fertiliser.
“By turning potato waste into a reusable resource, we’re driving more circularity in the potato growing process, helping farmers reduce their impact on the environment,” said Walkers’ parent company PepsiCo.
It said the initiative formed part of its wider agriculture programme, which has helped potato growers achieve a 50% reduction in their water use and carbon emissions.
PepsiCo added: “The new initiative could set us on a path to becoming carbon-negative in our potato production over the next decade.
“In addition to the low-carbon status of the fertiliser itself, research projects its long-term use will improve soil health, aiding a natural carbon sequestration process.”
CCm founding director Pawel Kisielewski said: “CCm is delighted PepsiCo has chosen our technology to demonstrate the huge potential innovative approaches can have in promoting sustainable agriculture across the UK.
“By enabling the sustainable reuse of waste resources and the locking of captured carbon back into the soil, our partnership represents a significant step forward in proving that agriculture can play a role in carbon reduction and the circular economy.”