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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

Ethical crisps

Ethical Crisp Brands

See our Ethical Crisps Ratings Table to compare brands

What is the environmental impact of crisp packaging?

Brits love crisps. One survey by Lumina Intelligence found that 75% of participants eat crisps at least once a week! Unfortunately, our crisp consumption comes with a heavy price. The Environment, Animals, and People are harmed by unethical crisp brand activity

Check out our Ethical Crisps Ratings Table and choose the most ethical crisp brands. Make the best ethical choices without having to do the research yourself! Simply look for the brands that appear in the green section of our table. Many of these brands offer sustainable options such as vegan crisps, organic crisps, and plastic-free packaging.

Can you recycle crisp packaging?

Most crisp packaging cannot be recycled, and is a single use plastic. A recent Which? study analysed the recyclability of everyday grocery packaging. This study revealed that only 3% of crisp packaging can be recycled through a typical household recycling bin. This makes crisp packaging the least recyclable grocery packaging.

Crisp packaging therefore creates a significant amount of environmental waste. In 2019, a crisp packet from the 1960s was found washed up on a beach with virtually no sign of decomposition.

Are crisps vegan?

The crisp industry also has an impact animal welfare. Many of the crisps available in the UK are not suitable for vegans or even vegetarians! Some crisps are made with animal-derived or non-vegan flavourings such as meat stock, milk, and whey. This is a problem for consumers who are concerned about foods that cause animal suffering. There are plenty of vegan flavourings available, so why do crisp brands still choose to make their products inaccessible to vegetarians and vegans?


Ethical crisps, packaging pollution

Our research: Unethical crisp brands and the lack of vegan crisps

The Good Shopping Guide’s latest research into the crisp brands reveals some concerning ethical issues

Firstly, PepsiCo.  owns many popular crisp brands, such as Walkers, Doritos, and Sensations. PepsiCo. is a controversial company that has been criticised for a range of unethical practices. For instance, Break Free From Plastic criticised PepsiCo. in 2019 for being the world’s third worst plastic polluter! Given the harmful environmental impact of plastic crisp packaging, avoid brands owned by PepsiCo in the future.

We were also disappointed to see the lack of vegan crisps available in the UK. Only 46% of brands received a top ethical rating for Vegetarian/Vegan, which means that at least one of the brands in the company group has products certified as vegan or vegetarian, such as from The Vegan Society or The Vegetarian Society. Although many crisp brands label their products as vegan or vegetarian friendly, the best way to guarantee that these claims are accurate is through certifications.

The best ethical options: Ethical crisp brands and vegan crisps

So here are some suggestions for more ethical alternatives. There are many crisp brands in our Ethical Crisps Ratings Table who genuinely care about our planet. These crisp brands are actively seeking to address environmental and animal welfare issues, such as the waste from plastic crisp packaging.

For instance, Two Farmers has introduced compostable crisp packaging, which has been certified as Plastic Free. We are pleased to see companies coming up with innovative solutions to important environmental issues and commend Two Farmers for this achievement.

How to find vegan crisps

Purchase vegan crisps to reduce your impact on animal welfare. Finding vegan crisps can be confusing, as there are some vegan crisps labelled as meat flavoured, such as ‘roast chicken’ or ‘BBQ beef’ – this is simply because the taste comes from vegan flavourings, rather than real animals!

Eat Real and Proper Chips are two crisp brands offering a range of vegan crisps for you to try. Both brands received excellent scores within our research, confirming their status as ethical brands. Moreover, Eat Real sells both organic and vegan crisps, so you do not have to choose between the two!

See our Ethical Crisps Ratings Table to compare brands

The Good Shopping Guide has written brand reports with exclusive and extensive research on each company, brand or product that appears on our ratings tables. Click on any brand name to get more information about the ethics of your favourite crisp brands.

Eat Real, Proper Chips, Harvest Snaps, Seabrook, Discos, Golden Wonder, Hippeas, Hula Hoops, KP, McCoy’s, Pom-Bear, Roysters, Skips, Two Farmers, Tyrrell’s, Kettle Chips, Manomasa, Popchips, Cheetos, Doritos, Monster Munch, Pipers, Quavers, Sensations, Sun Bites, Walkers, Wotsits and Pringles.