Causing A Ruckus About The Desire To Be Silent

Consumers have spoken up in effort to not be heard. Sadly, they got what they want – silence and an opportunity to continue generously giving to the pile of trash. 

For those who aren’t environmental enthusiasts or SunChips munchers (or neighbor someone who is), you may not be aware of “the” biodegradable bag. 

In April 2009, Frito-Lay began selling their SunChips in compostable bags which, due to the molecular structure, are loud.   

Really loud.   

As in, louder than some people manage to eat the actual chip.  Loud enough to miss all the good punch lines in any movie you watch while living the American dream… sitting on the couch eating chips. These bags blow any plot to eat chips in secrecy, have likely interrupted an uncountable number of conversations, disturbed many-a-slumber, and without a doubt have annoyed neighboring cubical warriors across the nation.  Certainly for the last year and a half, these bags have been dinging the egos of SunChips fanatics around the world who were putting up a fight to disguise the times per day they were reaching for their SunChips.

Granted, you can’t always control the timing of a serious SunChips craving.  So when the cravings come at the worst times (when the roommate is sleeping or during a grim presentation in a rather quiet conference room) you can’t help but feel the noise generated with each touch to the bag had the prominence of a small fighter jet flying overhead – your snacking is plain-out, clear-as-day, slap-you-in-the face obvious. 

Naturally, consumers began shaking their fingers at the company. Shame on Frito-Lay for causing slight discomfort to the eardrums of their consumers in order to provide way for an small, yet meaningful, (dare I say needed?) improvement for our planet. 

And so, after getting an earful themselves, Frito-Lay decided listening to their snooty customers was more important than being able to recycle the noise makers and switched back to the original packaging (made from plastic) for five out of their six varieties of SunChips. The biodegradable and recyclable bags will still be used for one variety, the original flavor. 

Despite causing slight embarrassment to anyone attempting to conceal their snacking, eating chips out of this bag was doing minimal damage.  SunChips, noisy bag or not, are still delicious and would likely continue to be consumed by the average person – even if the bag was open and found under a set of bleachers at a high school sporting event.

Munchers didn’t run the risk of experiencing noise-induced hearing loss, or at least there was no Surgeon General’s Warning printed for such a risk on the bag, which clearly states why it’s so loud to the touch: “This bag is loud because it’s 100% compostable.”

Well, apparently to most people, having a quiet snack is more important than preserving our planet’s environment.

I suppose, in a way, this means the company got what they intended all along. The compostable bags weren’t around for long.

Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.