By: Chris McCullough

The latest technology is being used to turn waste potato peel from a United Kingdom crisp factory into a valuable fertiliser in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint.

Pepsico UK has joined forces with British clean-tech firm CCm Technologies to use their innovative carbon-capture technology on potato peelings left over from making crisps.

The material will be transformed into low-carbon fertiliser and returned to farms where potatoes are grown.

Following a promising trial of the fertiliser, which was applied to potato seed beds this year, the company is planning to install CCm’s specialist equipment in 2021 to begin wider production. Once supplied at scale, the fertiliser is expected to reduce its potato-based carbon emissions by 70%.

The technology is designed to connect to Pepsico UK’s anaerobic digestor, which uses food waste to generate nearly 75% of the electricity used at the plant and helps ensure it sends zero waste to landfill. The newly installed equipment will use the byproduct waste from the anaerobic digestion process to create the fertiliser.

This initiative forms part of PepsiCo’s broader award-winning agriculture programme, which has previously helped UK growers achieve a 50% cut in their water use and carbon emissions.

The new initiative could see growers becoming carbon-negative in potato production over the next decade. In addition to the low carbon status of the fertiliser itself, research projects that its long-term use will improve soil health.