A WEST Wiltshire search marketing agency is doing its bit to help protect the environment and avoid pollution.

Varn Search Marketing, of Bradford on Avon, has collected over 40,000 crisp packets for specialised recycling, to the point where the company is fast running short of storage space.

The local search engine marketing company reached out to the Co-op store in the town’s centre, with a scheme that encouraged the collection of crisp packets for proper disposal. A dedicated collection box was set up near the Co-op exit, where there is high footfall and locals responded by cramming the box with their empty crisp packets.

Tom Vaughton, managing director of Varn, said: "Litter has been a consistent challenge during lockdown, with so many people using the available outside spaces, like parks and woodland, for exercise and eating snacks. Crisp packets have become a modern weed, proving difficult to both collect and dispose of.

"We started collecting crisp packets in our office but we weren’t ending up with enough to justify sending them to be properly recycled.

"We contacted the Co-op and they agreed to help by collecting crisp packets from the whole local community and the results have been amazing.

"Bradford on Avon is prioritising environmental issues and we wanted to do our bit. It all counts."

The crisp packets are collected in large numbers before being transported to the TerraCycle recycling centre where they are cleaned, shredded, and eventually made into new recycled products like bags and tennis court flooring.

Since the scheme began two years ago, it has prevented more than 40,000 crisp packets from polluting the Wiltshire countryside or sitting in landfill for potentially 80 years. In total, the collected crisp packets are equivalent to just over a tonne in weight.

Mr Vaughton added: “We’re grateful that residents have taken to this scheme, as crisp packets are especially hard to recycle and this is a solution, we would like to now have some extra support ourselves, for this to continue.”

Varn is now asking the local council to support or take over the scheme.