Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Incredibly Flexible Greeness of SunChips

Full Disclosure: I like SunChips very much. Especially original flavor.

Now that that's out of the way...

Check out this self-congratulatory ad for my favorite salted snack. It has everything- the celebration of Earth's rich soil, the triumphant green stem rising from the earth as SunChip's new biodegradable bag vanishes into nothingness (ashes to ashes, as it were,) all to the tune of a single guitar and a suitably folksy little "let's get together and save the planet by doing the impossible" tune.

SunChips, you see, is a company that cares. After years of polluting the planet along with the rest of the scarf-it-down-and-throw-the-package-away industry, SunChips is ready to be different. Better. Because gosh darn it, SunChips listened- listened to the Earth cry out for help, and listened to the socially conscious snack-consuming public which demanded (I guess) that it's snacks come in containers that won't be hanging around a million years after the human race has gone the way of the Dodo. Yay for SunChips, which saw an opening and jumped into it. That they want to produce such a smarmy little valentine to itself in response is fine, too- they deserve it.

So while everyone else acts as if our resources are infinite and so is Mother Nature's ability to repair the planet, SunChips is taking a small but important step. Oh, but there's one little drawback, hardly worth mentioning: the bags are really noisy to open and to handle. I'm sure that the smart people at SunChips will find a way to make a series of really fun commercials using this little quirk- "a little noise pollution, a lot less landfill pollution," something like that. Except, more clever of course.

Oh wait, never mind. SunChips has just announced that because it continues to listen to it's customers, they've heard complaints about the noise, so they are scrapping the noisy bags and going back to the non-recyclable ones. All that Celebrating Earth Day Jazz? Never mind. All that "do the impossible, love our planet" crap? Pretend it didn't happen. Because the bags are noisy.

And with this reversal, SunChips presents an awesome example of the elasticity of the corporate social ethic. Just a few months after selling us on the idea that their new bags were a vital step toward saving the planet, SunChips now tells us that saving us from being buried in garbage is not as important as providing us with a bag that isn't louder than the others. Great message, SunChips.

Next time a company makes some adjustment to it's product to make it more Earth-friendly, I think the tag line should be "Because We Care. For Now."


  1. This not only proves that their souls are made of non-biodegradable plastic, it proves that the customer is not always right. What kind of pathetic idiot cares how loud his or her chip bag is? I mean, come on!! You'd have to be Mike Patterson to think that a loud chip bag is a torment while blathering away on a cell phone while playing Warcrack isn't.

  2. Sure we want to save the planet, and we are willing to make sacrifices to do it, but a noisy chip bag? Everyone has limits!

  3. The rottable bag was a PR stunt, nothing more. Those loud bags, know where they are now? IN LANDFILLS.
    Because contrary to what we see in commercial land, Sun Chip eaters did not go bury their bag in the garden out back. They THREW IT AWAY!
    All Sun Chips really made was a bag which could almost definitely never be recycled.