Why Aren't Crisps In Recyclable Packaging
As always this weeks podcast is about learning to speak English fluently, but why not make it interesting as well! So this week we learn how some clever British protestors made crisp packets a big issue in the UK news.
The world is filling up with single use plastics. Walkers, a UK crisp manufacturer, produce 2,555,000,000 plastic packets every year. Two and a half billion plastic bags just for crisps and that’s just one crisp manufacturer.
Did you know you can buy marmite flavoured crisps? If you don’t understand the irony of this, you need to listen to last weeks podcast lesson on marmite personalities and issues here.
Hi there, I’m Hilary and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. This is our Thursday podcast, so it’s shorter and easier to understand than our Monday podcast. Both podcasts are designed to help you learn spoken English. Listen to the podcast a number of times, until you understand all of it. Then listen a few more times to make the words and the phrases stick. If there’s anything that you can’t understand, go to our website, where you will find the transcript, the written version to help you. And that’s at adeptenglish.com.
So today’s podcast. Here’s a story from the UK news.
It cannot be that hard to make environmentally friendly crisp packaging
The service which delivers the post in the UK is called the Royal Mail. Royal means to do with royalty, so this is why our stamps have on them the head of Queen Elizabeth II and the word ‘mail’ here refers to post, letters, postcards, parcels. The word mail M-A-I-L, like in the word e-mail, but of course no ‘e’, because it’s not electronic – that means post! So Royal Mail is the service where you can post items, send them to someone else, and the service through which letters etc. arrive at your front door. Well Royal Mail has got involved in a row, a disagreement between campaigners and crisp maker Walkers - by requesting that people who are posting empty Walkers crisp packets put them in envelopes!
So what on earth is going on here? Let me explain a bit more! ‘Campaigners’ means people who are campaigning for something. And the verb to campaign, C-A-M-P-A-I-G-N means that you’re making an effort, taking action to try and change other peoples’ opinions, to try to change the way that things are done. If you campaign, you have a point to make. So this is about people who are campaigning on behalf of the environment. And these campaigners are saying that they think that we eat so many bags of crisps in the UK, that the packets should be recyclable.
You may ask yourself why do we need recyclable crisp packets? Walkers in the UK alone produce 2,555,000,000 plastic packets every year!
And crisps? Well, if you live in Europe or the US, I think you’ll recognise perhaps Doritos (you might call them ‘chips’ in the US), or Lays in Europe or possibly the British brand Walkers crisps. Walkers crisps are based in Leicester, in England. And the crisps are a problem to the environment because the packets cannot be recycled. They’re made of foil to keep the crisps fresh and crunchy. So the campaigners are trying to make their point to Walkers crisps by posting empty packets through the Royal Mail.
Because there is a freepost address on the back of the packet – Royal Mail are obligated, they have to deliver the empty crisp packets to the address shown. So they go to the Walkers crisp factory. And because the address on the back of the crisp packet is a freepost address – this means that Walkers has to pay, every time someone posts back an empty packet to them. This is how the campaigners hope that Walkers Crisps will listen to them, take notice of their protest!
But without envelopes, the empty crisp packets can’t go through the machines at the Royal Mail and must be sorted by hand, which causes delays. So the Royal Mail have requested that the campaigners put their empty crisp packets into envelopes and write the freepost address on the front.
Download The Lesson PDF Transcript & MP3 Audio
Why do I have to share this article to download? We need you to help us tell people about this FREE English language lesson. If you share this article you help us and in return we charge you nothing to download the audio and a FULL lesson transcript.
I think we would all enjoy crisps more if they were ECO friendly crisps
But a spokesperson for Walkers crisps – spokesperson means someone from the company – said that’s a difficulty. You want your crisps to be crunchy and fresh and that aluminium foil packets are the only way to achieve this. It’s very difficult to do with any other type of packaging. So Walkers crisps have promised to make their packets fully recyclable or biodegradable – that means they break down naturally – by the year 2025.
Walkers claims to have the biggest crisp factory in the world, just outside Leicester. The word factory here means, where the crisps are made. How many packets of crisps do Walkers make? Well, they’re currently making 7 million packets of crisps every day. 7 million packets? No, that’s not a mistake – that’s right – every day. So probably the environmental campaigners have a point. We do like our crisps! And it would be better, if the packets could be recycled.
So the art of ‘peaceful protest’ is alive and well in the UK. Love it.
Anyway, enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
The goal of Adept English is to help you learn to speak English fluently. It is very important to make every English lesson interesting while you learn. Although this weeks lesson subject was about plastic crisp packets and clever protestors, much of the English used in this lesson is everyday English. The real value of this lesson is listening to a native British English speaker using common English phrases.
It will help your English speaking fluency if you can join conversation with English speaking work colleagues or friends. So having an interesting subject to talk about will help you talk to people working in the UK, or chatting to your English-speaking friends.
We have lots of other tips on learning to speak English here.
If you like this English podcast and want to know when the next podcast is published you can subscribe for an English podcast e-mail reminder.