The pub staples of beer and crisps could soon be destined for bigger things after a technology firm worked out how to harness the emissions and waste from their manufacturing processes to tackle climate change.
Emissions from beer fermentation in a brewery, which usually produces a high amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), will be captured and mixed with potato waste – so it can be turned into fertiliser.
The idea has been developed by UK firm CCm Technologies, which trialled the fertiliser on potato seed beds earlier in the year, and has been adopted by crisps giant Walkers.
The Leicester-based crisps firm will install the carbon capture equipment at its factory ahead of the 2022 crop, with its owners looking for ways to source the gas from inside the company.
It is expected that Walkers will reduce its carbon emissions by 70% once the project is rolled out more widely, and could even become a carbon-negative potato producer by 2030.
David Wilkinson from US snack conglomerate PepsiCo, which owns Walkers, said: “From circular potatoes to circular crops, this innovation with CCm Technologies could provide learnings for the whole of the food system, enabling the agriculture sector to play its part in combating climate change.
“This is just the beginning of an ambitious journey, we’re incredibly excited to trial the fertiliser on a bigger scale and discover its full potential.
“This initiative is a step in the right direction, and we will continue working hard to lower the carbon impact of our products from field, through manufacturing sites, to consumption.”
Pawel Kisielewski, from CCm Technologies, said: “CCm is delighted that PepsiCo has chosen our technology to demonstrate the huge potential that innovative approaches can have in promoting sustainable agriculture across the UK.
“By enabling the sustainable reuse of waste resources and the locking of captured carbon back into the soil, our partnership represents a significant step forward in proving that agriculture can play a role in carbon reduction and the circular economy.”