Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sunchips Are So Not Degrading

A while back, I posted about the claim on the Sunchips bag that after 14 weeks, the bag would decompose, being biodegrable and leave no trace.  I am nothing if not curious, so on May 2, 2010, I placed one of these Sunchips bags in my garden.  I did not bury it in the compost for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I thought that the average litterbug doesn't bother to bury trash.  I wanted to see if someone just tossed it on the ground, would it break down.

Saturday, I took this picture.  Let's see.  May 2, 2010 to December 11, 2010.  That's umm lots of weeks.  More than 14, to be sure.  And yet, do you see that most of the bag is there?  Can you read what I can read? I am highly disappointed.  I thought 7 months after I placed it on the ground, very little would be left.  I anchored it down with a brick so it wouldn't blow away.  Now I'm glad, because it would be real litter!

I went to their website when I posted back in August, to see why mine didn't break down.  I see that on their website, they show that it breaks down under very controlled circumstances involving heat and clear plastic wrap so you can see the breakdown.  Well, I supposed if I wanted to add more trash and put Saran Wrap over it, it might work.  But on the bag, they don't tell you all of the hijinks you have to perform to make it break down.  They encourage you to buy it so you can feel good about buying something that won't pollute the earth.

And after 7 months, no matter what method I used, I expected there to be very little left.  I figured that the exposure to sunlight alone should be enough to make it break down into smithereens.

I'm very disappointed, Sunchips.  Very.  And to top it off, the bag is so noisy that somewhere I read that they had to stop making the bag because there were so many complaints.

Ugh, I have nothing more to say except that I will continue my little experiment and see where we are a year from May 2!


  1. It seems it was a feel good stunt--not a do good thing. Not terribly surprised, but then I don't care for sun chips anyway.

  2. And how many people do you know who have controlled environments in their back yards? Oh, zero? Me too.

    I tip my hat to you for trying your experiment and being so dogged about it. WTG!


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