On 7 December, Walkers Crisps, one of the largest buyers of British potatoes, is partnering with CCM Technologies to turn its potato waste into fertiliser.
CCm Technologies, a UK-based clean-tech firm, will help Walkers to reduce its carbon footprint by using innovative carbon capture technology to transform potato waste leftover from the anaerobic digestion (AD) process into low-carbon fertiliser for UK farmers.
Following a promising trial of the fertiliser, which was applied to potato seedbeds in 2020, Walkers is planning on installing CCm’s specialist equipment at its factory in Leicester this year to begin wider production in preparation for its 2022 crop.
Once supplied at scale, the fertiliser is expected to reduce Walkers’ potato-based carbon emissions by 70%.
The technology is designed to connect to the factory’s anaerobic digester, which uses food waste to generate nearly 75% of the electricity used at the plant. The newly-installed equipment will use the by-product waste from the AD process to create the fertiliser.
Walkers’ brand owner, PepsiCo, is looking to bring the benefits of the new, circular fertiliser to further European markets and other crops, such as oats and corn.
David Wilkinson, PepsiCo’s senior director of European Agriculture, 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.”
“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,” said CCm’s founding director, Pawel Kisielewski.
“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.”