August 19, 2010, - 3:56 pm
Not only is it not easy being an environmental wacko, it’s sometimes harmful to your health.
Frito-Lay brags that its 100% compostable bags for its Sun Chips snacks are green and good for the environment. Problem is, they’re not exactly good for your hearing. I don’t eat Sun Chips (or any chips), but . . .
OWWWWW! – Worse than scratching on a chalkboard . . .
You see, in order to make the Sun Chips bags 100% fully decomposed within 14 weeks, they had to use technology that makes the bags sound like loud breaking glass. It’s been the subject of a number of YouTube videos from Sun Chips eaters, including a very smart Air Force pilot who measured the sound. It’s deafening. Some of the videos are below.
Frito-Lay makes a lot of noise marketing its Sun Chips snacks as “green.” They are cooked with steam from solar energy, the message goes.
But its latest effort—making the bags out of biodegradable plant material instead of plastic—is creating a different kind of racket. Chip eaters are griping about the loud crackling sounds the new bag makes. Some have compared it to a “revving motorcycle” and “glass breaking.”
It is louder than “the cockpit of my jet,” said J. Scot Heathman, an Air Force pilot, in a video probing the issue that he posted on his blog under the headline “Potato Chip Technology That Destroys Your Hearing.” Mr. Heathman tested the loudness using a RadioShack sound meter. He squeezed the bag and recorded a 95 decibel level. A bag of Tostitos Scoops chips (another Frito-Lay brand, in bags made from plastic) measured 77.
Clifford A. Wood, a 69-year-old in Tempe, Ariz., posted a warning on a Google chat page for people who work in theaters, cautioning: “Please NEVER sell Sun Chips in these bags at your venue.”
A Facebook group called “SORRY BUT I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THIS SUN CHIPS BAG” has attracted 29,949 fans, with many posting outraged comments. It’s “the worst when your stoned at 2am and trying to not wake up the house,” one person said.
Hilarious. But not as hilarious as the former (or maybe not-so-former) stoners who tell us we have to be “green” but have no prob with loud and obnoxiously deafening chips bags. More:
Tell that to Mackenzie Kuhn’s fourth-grade teacher. At Ladd Elementary in Fairbanks, Alaska, 12-year-old Mackenzie brought some Sun Chips to a party to mark the end of the school year. When she opened the bag, everyone looked her way, she says.
“Please try to open your bag quieter, Mackenzie,” she said her teacher replied.
I think that teacher needs to be fired. Isn’t, “Please try to open your bag more quietly,” the grammatically correct way to say that?
Building a more earth-friendly snack bag was no piece of cake, the company says. The material would need to be able to be printed on while also achieving “barrier performance,” says Frito-Lay, which means keeping chips from getting soggy, in lay terms.
The company settled on a plant-based material, polylactic acid, which fully decomposes in about 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost pile.
Here are some more videos from Sun Chips users, dismayed by the ridiculous loudness you must endure to eat their “green” product . . .
F-word alert in this one (and the guy can’t pronounce “compostable”) . . .
Tags: 100% Compostable, bag, biodegradable, chip bag, chips, compostable, decibels, Frito Lay, J. Scot Heathman, Loud, Noisy, snacks, Sun Chips, too loud