Unbearably Noisy Biodegradable SunChips Bag Terminated

18 months ago SunChips launched a new 100% biodegradable bag that, because of a unique molecular structure, sounds like a freakin’ lawnmower when you opened. After a drop in sales and a rise in consumers hating it, FritoLay is discontinuing the bags and retooling. Here is what one sounds like:

If enough people stop buying a product and complain about it, they can force a manufacturer to stop making it or to change it.

Frito-Lay sends noisy, ‘green’ SunChips bag to the dump [USA Today] (Thanks to GitEmSteveDave!)


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  1. rickatnight11 says:

    Thank you! I appreciated the effort, but I couldn’t make any stelthy midnight snack runs.

  2. Eyeheartpie says:

    I thought they were quirky and funny. Although I haven’t tried to sneak one into a movie theater….

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      Oh, plus the noise lets me know when my wife is stealing my chips.

    • mandy_Reeves says:

      you also cannot sneak them at work…I work at home and had in the kitchen…my husband went to move it ….thing sounded like a dam vaccum cleaner with plastic caught in it. It got picked up on my sensitive head set, and i got a warning from my boss who listens to our back ground noise levels.

      • acasto says:

        Do you work in customer service or something or has your boss juts decided to take being a control freak to a whole new level?

  3. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    As a long time fan of sun chips- I actually liked those bags! Noisy, sure, but it’s not like I snack in classes or at the cinema so I didn’t really care.

  4. snobum says:

    I agree the bag is extremely noisy, and the first few times I got them it was strange. When I thought about it though, I could handle a noisy bag if it was better for the environment.

    • maubs says:

      The bag wasn’t really better for the environment. The plastic, made from corn, is only biodegradable if sent for processing in a commercial composting plant capable of handling the waste, of which there are only a few in the entire USA. How many of you were ensuring that this was happening?

      • Tim in Wyoming says:

        It also worked in your own compost, not just commercial. If it was placed in regular trash, it was not exposed to the needed elements to make the process work.

        • maubs says:

          No, it doesn’t. That was the environmentally-friendly bait and switch about the bags. The only way those bags will break down is in the higher temperatures of a commercial composting facility.

          • snobum says:

            Actually it does work in home composting, just slower. Their website has stuff about home composting the bags.

  5. TuxthePenguin says:

    Just goes to show you… things might not be done some way because of some nefarious plot or because this evil company hates the environment… its done because decades of product research has found out exactly what the consumer likes out of the product…

  6. thomas_callahan says:

    Really, that little noise will put you off of choosing something more environmentally friendly?

    • rickatnight11 says:

      Little? LITTLE? You try living in a house with 3 other people and try sneaking some snack. CRINKLE CRINKLE CRINKLE “WHO’S EATING MY SUNCHIPS?!?!?” *stomp**stomp**stomp*

    • dolemite says:

      If fire itself could explode, it would make that noise. “Well dangit, looks like your fire done caught some ‘splodination!”

      I think someone reported the decibel level at 95. By comparison, a lawnmower is around 90, and a motorcycle is 95.

    • leprechaunshawn says:

      It’s noise pollution.

    • RickinStHelen says:

      It’s environmentally friendly if you throw it out the window. Encapsulated in a landfill with tons of other trash, does it really matter?

    • falnfenix says:

      my coworker brought the bag in ONCE and we (his officemates) nearly throttled him. nothing whatsoever got done that day due to his bag killing our concentration.

      • xxmichaelxx says:

        There is nothing magical about chips that requires them to be eaten from a bag. Take a handful, put it on a plate or napkin, eat away.

        Is it that hard?

      • MMD says:

        If a bag – or any distracting sound – is preventing you from doing your work, you can’t be trying to work very hard.

        • akacrash says:

          That’s a pretty ignorant comment.
          I’m sure you’re such a perfect worker that if your cube neighbor was blasting Gwar at 96 db, you’d have NO problem maintaining focus and getting your TPS cover sheets done just fine. The rest of us strive to be as perfect a human as you.

  7. Mr. Stupid says:

    The new bags will be made out of the skins of baby seals. Very quiet, but not very enviro-friendly.

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      Actually, aren’t baby seals a renewable resource? As long as we only take some of the babies and leave the adults they can make more, can’t they?

      I kid, I kid.

      • jefeloco says:

        Why kid?

        Where is the scientific evidence that baby seals need skin?

        • PencilSharp says:

          Heck, I’d actually buy the fool things just to make them off a few of those friggin’ moon-eyed crap factories…

          I don’t kid… I don’t kid…

          (Please send all hate comments c/o GitEmSteveDave. He’s much better with comment reply smackdowns than your old Uncle Pen…)

  8. Beeker26 says:

    Love the dude in the video. His expression is priceless!

  9. Mike says:

    Actually, this is bad news. I was kind of hoping it would succeed because of the all out assault on plastic bags lately. I would love a biodegradable alternative to plastic.

    • lettucefactory says:

      I know, me too. When I had to bring some snacks to a work event recently, I reached for the SunChips precisely because of this new bag.

      Yeah, it’s noisy, but I just don’t find myself in situations where I have to eat chips under the stealthy cover of silence all that often. Guess I’m weird, IDK.

  10. dulcinea47 says:

    I can’t decide if it’s a good or bad thing… better for the environment is nice, but that bag put me off buying Sun chips entirely. Which is better for me.

  11. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Damn! I’d heard about it, but WOAH. O_O

  12. stevekuze says:

    Pick your poison, Waste pollution or noise pollution…

  13. Marlin says:

    Did they prove that sales are down because of the bag or using it as a scapegoat?

  14. redskull says:

    When I first heard about this, my natural reaction was to roll my eyes and think,”Cheezus, how noisy could a plastic bag be?” Then I encountered one and the answer is: Pretty damned noisy! Surprisingly, shockingly noisy.

    • crackers says:

      My experience exactly. I thought, “Noisy? Pshaw!” until I got a bag for myself. Holy smokes, they’re loud.

      • organicgardener says:

        I thought it was ridiculous, too so I touched one at the grocery store the other day. WHOA! Pretty freaking loud! (I’ll bet a lot of people have been doing that.)

  15. Dover says:

    I’ve had one of those things in my compost pile for months. Everything else breaks down around it, but I don’t think my pile gets hot enough.

    • CrissyT says:

      Same, I tossed one in during early spring. We had a pretty toasty summer….and its still there. In all it’s fresh-off-the-shelf glory. The colors on the bag havent even faded.

  16. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Impossible to hide these… bastidges!

  17. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Nice video. I always take my bag of chips and crumble it like a discarded page of a term paper.

  18. ceez says:

    forget the environment….i want a silent bag.

    it’s a never winning and ending battle!

  19. AllanG54 says:

    The only time I’ve eaten Sun Chips was when I got them as my snack while flying Delta. But the last few times they haven’t given them out. Maybe the little bags were too noisy also.

    • Mulva says:

      I don’t think they were using them on the small bags – Subway carries them and I’ve yet to see them there. Guess I never will *sob*

  20. Kevin says:

    It didn’t change how often I bought Sunchips but I hated that damn bag.

  21. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I like Sunchips but I haven’t bought them in a while, so I guess I missed this.

  22. Lollerface says:

    Everyone who hates this bag obviously hates Earth.

  23. schiff says:

    Noisy yes, but environmentally friendly. It’s funny how you’re basically supporting consumers rejecting products which greatly reduce the impact on the environment.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      They’re pointing out that consumers can actually get manufacturers to change something if they complain enough and vote with their wallet.

      Besides, consumers don’t have to like and accept all products flaws just because they also happen to be environmentally friendly. If the bag of chips grew a fist and punched you in the face when you opened the bag would that be acceptable if the manufacturing process didn’t produce any waste?

      • NinjaMarion says:

        Yes. A million times yes.

        But only because I would love to have a bag of chips that I can give to people to get them unsuspectingly punched in the face by the chips.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Wind Turbines. Ugly, yes. But environmentally friendly. Yet they don’t get built because some Kennedy thinks that having them 8 miles off shore will ruin their view. Ironic, dontcha think?

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        There are a zillon giant wind turbines down here in south Texas, and the farmers (who are struggling) love the $$ they get for leasing the land, and the schools (also struggling) love the taxes that wind up coming their way. And the industry itself provides well-paid jobs.

        Forget putting wind farms near people with money who care about views; look for the po’ folk.

        (Not that that has anything to do wtih deafening SunChips bags.)

  24. Mulva says:

    Parents with babies and children who nap are thanking the gods tonight…

    Personally, it didn’t bother me – I don’t spend hours opening and closing the bag, I just grab or pour out a serving, close it up and move along with my day.

  25. ClaudeKabobbing says:

    With that bag you will always know when at the office, someone is sneaking into your snak stash.

  26. OwenP says:

    This is a victory for man-beasts that have to consume multiple bags of product that approximates the feeling of potato chips daily. Weaklings suggested stupid options like “pour a portion into a bowl so you don’t eat too many”, but how are you supposed to get as much fat as you’d get from a handful of Ruffles that way? You’d need a huge bowl! Sun chips are healthier ergo I can eat 18 bags of them daily without guilt.

    I don’t like the environment anyway. Every time I go outside I get sunburned within 10 seconds. It’s why I live in a basement that has cupboards full of sun chips moved in front of the windows. Mom picks up my daily palette of chips and frozen pizzas for me.

  27. Frapp says:

    These bags were not only extremely noisy, but they also failed structurally about a third of the time straight out of the box. The vendors would leave us their boxes so we could replenish the sales floor. Every box had grease stains because the bags opened on both ends and let the chips spill out.

  28. Preyfar says:

    The SunChips bag is like bubblewrap for sadomasochists.

  29. Muddie says:

    If I remember correctly, the bags weren’t as environmentally friendly as they would have liked you to believe. Better, yes — but not as good as they touted.

    Also, the article confused me. There was the line:

    “If enough people stop buying a product and complain about it, they can force a manufacturer to stop making it or to change it.”

    Which was right below the line:

    “FritoLay is discontinuing the bags and retooling.”

    So, uh…didn’t the question get answered even before it was asked?

  30. Razor512 says:

    Another company should 1 up them and create a bag that is twice as loud and never biodegrades.

  31. Cicadymn says:

    It’s only a matter of time before rabid environmentalists push a button to make everyone that works for sunchips or buys the normal sunchips bag explode.

    Because if you don’t agree with their propaganda, they’ll kill you.

  32. Clyde Barrow says:

    Here’s another ban idea; those bags that cereal come in that are inside the boxes. Whenever I try to pull the seams on those bags, the damn thing rips halfway down the side and I spill cereal all over the counter and floor.

  33. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Sunchips are something you find in a barnyard.

  34. dumblonde says:

    I liked the idea but I hated that the bag didn’t let me snack without my husband noticing. No late secret late night snacks with that bag!

  35. synimatik says:

    Screw you planet! If I can’t get sit on my fat ass eating chips without having to turn Dancing With The Stars waaaaaaaaaay up, you’re on your own!


  36. yurei avalon says:

    OMG people, just open the bag and dump what you want out into a bowl. Such a total non issue ;_; Keeps you from eating too much too.

  37. MaelstromRider says:

    worst bag ever

  38. SagarikaLumos says:

    I didn’t mind the noisy bag, but what I do mind is that the original variety has become rare and the lovely cinnamon ones are gone.

  39. jeffjohnvol says:

    I hated that bag!

  40. brianary says:

    Wow. Noisy chip bags. Talk about a First World Problem.

  41. Pax says:

    I’m sorry, I’m going to have to call shenanigans on that video.

    I won’t dispute that it’s nosier AT ALL, but that recoding is disingenuos by it’s very nature: there are no OTHER sounds with which to properly, reasonably guage the actual volume of the bag. The guy couldn’t have said something, anything, at either the start or finish of the video??

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Try this one, this guy tries to yell over top of it.. it really paints the picture well:

      Reminds me of when you try to talk to someone with the vacuum on.

  42. El-Brucio says:

    I wonder how much of this is due to loud crinkly packaging causing a decline in sales and how much is due to some other factor they aren’t publishing – like extra costs due to the bags, or that they come to life during solar flares and kill people.

    Are there really that many people who stop buying a product because the packaging is noisier than the competition?

    • jesirose says:

      Yeah I used to buy Sun Chips occasionally. Ever since I got one of the new bags, I switched to Baked Lays. I only buy chips maybe once every month, but it turned me off them. It was so fucking annoying. Who wants to be ANNOYED by CHIPS for crying out loud?

      It wasn’t just when you took a chip out that it made noise. If you breathed in the same room as the bag you’d hear CRINKLE CRINKLE CRINKLE.

  43. Cantras says:

    aw, suck. I loved it. It felt neat.

  44. Dallas_shopper says:

    I’m bummed to see it go. I use them to shoo people away from my cube when they’re having loud, non-work related conversations while I’m trying to concentrate.

  45. Geekmom says:

    My little girls hated those bags and constantly complained about how noisy they are. I ended up with a bag of Sun Chips to myself because they didn’t want to touch the bag. lol

  46. b612markt says:

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I get it from a profit perspective, but what is wrong with people when a loud bag is enough to make you stop buying the product? It’s not like the bag was made out of barbed wire and sealed with puppy blood.

  47. Starfury says:

    We’d take a bag out and say “want to hear the most annoying noise ever?” then crinkle it

  48. pot_roast says:

    These people are whiny idiots.

    Cut top of bag with scissors.
    Pour contents into bowl.
    Eat in silence.

    Problem solved. Instead, the whining “this noisy bag WOKE UP my BABY” crowd wins. Ugh.

  49. czarrie says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t care if my snack packaging is slightly obnoxious? It’s not like I’m going to be constantly opening and closing it for hours on end. A fan or a car or something that constantly makes the noise, sure, but not a stupid bag of chips. This is silly.

  50. MustardTiger says:

    Srsly? I liked the bag, who the fuck is eating out of a bag that big in public unless you’re a royal fatty, and I don’t care if you’re sharing. Oh, you can’t hear your television while you sit on the couch snacking away, pour some into a bowl!

  51. FacebookAppMaker says:

    I took one of these bags to a rock concert. I got a place quite far in the back, so I thought I could savor my new comestible in relative peace.

    Needless to say, when my fingernail was nearly touching the bag, a sudden roar started bursting from the package. The band stopped playing and suddently, two thousand eyepairs were fixed on me and my SunChips bag.

    I opened the bag.

    The resulting soundwave moved, faster than light, into the stage where it fed into the band’s microphone and CAST OUT a voice of a million decibels that ripped a hole in the dark matter, opening a straight passage FROM HELL to ours. Gods turned their face to the sound and massive streams of blood flew from ears and noses. The creatures of hell and all the Gods screamed a terrible wail.

    But the wail was not as loud as the bag.

  52. RobThy says:


    “There have been some questions about our compostable bag, so we wanted to set your minds at ease. The compostable bag isn’t going away. We’re committed to renewable packaging solutions and will continue to use 100% compostable packaging on specially-marked Original flavor SunChips® snacks. In the meantime we’re busy working on the next-generation bag that addresses consumer feedback, so stay tuned.”

    So they say they have NOT yet changed bags but are looking towards creating a new back to “address feedback”.

  53. CapitalC says:

    Are these the same people who complain about the sun giving them too much vitamin D? Canada being too kind? Lube being too slippery? Seriously, get an effing life. It’s a chip bag.

  54. Jemaine says:

    I’m going out on a limb to say all chip bags are loud and annoying; so why bother?

  55. invisibelle says:

    It’s gotta be fewer than 1% of Sun Chips consumers who actually compost to begin with, making this a gimmick and a misstep by FLNA.

  56. thelauhingsun says:

    I actually liked the sound – the soft crinkliness of other chip bags makes my skin crawl for some reason.

  57. palfas says:

    I’m happy for the change back to the old bag, it made the 5 finger discount nigh impossible.