Sunchips Compostable Bags: Too Noisy for Mother Earth

I first mentioned the Sunchips Compostable bag in our post, "Spring into Sustainability":

SunChips, made by Frito-Lay, now come in a compostable bag!  When I saw this at the store I had to pick it up and once I finish the chips the bag is heading straight for my mini-compost pile where they say it will break down in about 14 weeks.

And I am happy to report the compostable bag has vanished from the compost pile.  But it seems the Sunchips Compostable bag will also be vanishing from store shelves.  Why?'s too noisy, at least to some consumers.

I used the Sunships bag and the chips were delicious.  Was the bag noisy?  Eh...maybe a little, but nothing I would complain about.  I never ate Sunchips at the library or pulled a George Costanza and tried to eat them in bed with my wife (George actually ate a sandwich in bed with his girlfriend).  But apparently some consumers have complained so much that Sunchips is pulling the bag in 5 out of the 6 flavors it came in.

This is actually a pretty good video showing a comparison between crinkling a regular chip bag vs. a sunchips compostable chip bag.  The Sunchips bag is louder, I agree.  But I'm sure if I had a can of peanuts I could shake them like crazy and then complain that "it sounds like a maraca!  Whaaaaaaaaa!".  I could then go to the peanut company and ask them to package their nuts in silk.  Or I could just not shake them like a maraca. I can't blame Frito-Lay for the decision to pull the bag.  Their ultimate job is to sell chips and they were just trying to do something right by making a bag better for the environment.  I blame consumers who are whining about a little noise over the other benefits of the bag.  But I realize innovation arises from disquiet, so I can only hope that Frito-Lay will continue to improve upon the compostable bag until people can't complain any longer.

I realize that unfortunately not everyone cares about sustainability.  And for most, having a quieter bag is more important than having a bag that isn't made from oil and won't sit in a landfill for years and years.  But at what point does society realize that it has to make some tiny sacrifices for reducing our oil addiction or to get clean energy for power generation?  We are a nation of complainers unwilling to take the steps necessary to move in a more sustainable direction.  When do we reach a sustainable tipping point?

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