Buried crisp packet from 20 years ago, sheds light on rate everyday items decompose

A Quavers packet from 1999 was found buried in an alloment in Hunstanton. Photo: Chris Bishop

A Quavers packet from 1999 was found buried in an alloment in Hunstanton. Photo: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

A crisp packet has been found in near perfect condition after spending two decades in the ground.

The cheesy crisps were best before October 1999. Photo: Chris Bishop

The cheesy crisps were best before October 1999. Photo: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Packaging from popular crisp brand Walkers Quavers was found on an allotment site with the 'best before' date showing October 1999, and the wrapper had barely began decomposing.

Allotment holder and journalist Chris Bishop, from Hunstanton, said: 'It was in nearly mint condition, despite being buried for the best part of 20 years.

'You worry what legacy we're leaving for the future for the sake of a snack someone had on my plot two decades ago.'

A packet of crisps takes mere minutes to devour but the packaging can take up to eight decades to decompose. Plastic bags can take anywhere from 500 - 1,000 years to breakdown and plastic bottles can take mote than 450 years.

A 20-year-old crisp packet was found in Hunstanton. photo: Chris Bishop

A 20-year-old crisp packet was found in Hunstanton. photo: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant


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The West Norfolk council website has a run down of 'recycling A-Z' that covers more than 100 everyday items and how to recycle them correctly.

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