All ThatFrom A Bag of Chips?

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | September 7, 2010

You can learn a lot from a bag of chips, apparently. Frito-Lay executives must have thought that they were on to something big when they began packaging their Sun Chips snacks in biodegradable plant material (poly lactic acid) instead of plastic. After all, Frito-Lay somehow manages to promote junk food as being good for you, so what kind of dyed-in-the wool greenie could possibly complain about biodegradable packaging, right? Apparently, everyone—that’s who!

Seems that loyal Sun Chips customers are up in arms over the noise that the biodegradable bags make when they’re munching away on all those healthy chips, forgetting that fact that the bags decompose in just 14 weeks in a standard compost pile. In fact, there’s even a Facebook group called,“Sorry I Can’t Hear You Over This Sun Chips Bag.” By the time a consumer complaint reaches Facebook, it should be a cause of concern for any consumer product company.

What do chips have to do with shampoos? They’re a good lesson that sometimes you can go too far in the quest for environmentally friendly products. That’s why this edition of Happi includes articles on formulating both green personal care products and green detergents that promise to improve the environmental profile of products, without undermining the consumer’s experience with them. Turn to p. 53 to learn more about formulating natural personal care products. The authors, a diverse team that includes marketers and suppliers, provide insights and guidelines to help cosmetic chemists create greener products that perform well too. On p. 78, there’s an article from researchers at Novozymes that explains how incorporating enzymes into laundry detergent can help marketers improve the environmental profile of their products without sacrificing performance.

For readers interested in topics other than green, we’ve got something for you too. Associate editor Melissa Meisel spoke with leading dermatologists to learn their views on the importance of sun protection in skin care products. Find out what the derms had to say by turning to “It’s as Easy as S-P-F” on p. 85. Meanwhile, the environmental fragrance market may be on the mend, as cash-strapped consumers look for relatively inexpensive ways to soothe themselves. Our coverage, “Dollars and Scents,” starts on p. 59. Finally, to find out what’s new in the all-encompassing surfactant market, read “Down & Up & Down Again?,” which can be found on p. 67.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Happi. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.


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