A GIRLGUIDING group has collected bags and bags filled with empty crisp packets – all to help elephants at Chester Zoo.

The 1st Dodleston Guides group went on a trip to Chester Zoo in October, not just armed with packed lunches and spending money, but with bags and bags of empty crisp packets.

The reason behind their large donation of empty crisp packets is crisp brand Walkers is providing money for every empty crisp packet recycled. Funds from this donation are going to Chester Zoo's 'Never Forget' charity, which is performing research into the potentially deadly elephant herpes virus.

As shown on TV screens last week in Channel 4's The Secret Life of the Zoo, pioneering treatment helped save the life of Chester Zoo elephant Indali Hi Way, months after two of her siblings tragically passed away from the virus.

The Walkers recycling scheme has been sending the crisp packets (all brands) to recycling firm TerraCycle. Packets are then shredded into plastic pellets to be turned into everyday items, such as outdoor furniture and trays.

The Guides were inspired to take part in this scheme following a visit from Plastic Free Chester representatives Dr Christian Dunn and Helen Tandy, where the group discussed the use of plastics in everyday life, the potential to recycle them (or not) and the impact that single use plastics may have on the environment.

Guides wanted to act on reducing the impact of a single use plastic waste that they produce daily – crisp packets.

The Guides teamed up to take their message out their schools by inspiring the rest of the pupils during speeches in assemblies, educating them on single use plastics and encouraging them to place their empty crisp packets in the collection boxes around school.

The group took six big bags full of empty crisp packets collected over nine months, and will continue to collect them and drop them off at Chester Zoo.

A spokesperson for the group said: "Help us to continue with our project by collecting your empty crisp packets (any brand) and dropping them off at Chester Zoo Bembe café (before the entrance).

"This has the fantastic double benefit of making a single-use plastic item into something useful and to help to save the lives of elephants on the breeding programme at Chester Zoo."

The 1st Dodleston Guides group's newest Guide member Isabella Grattan, aged 10, has written this poem which spells out 'Crisp packets':

Crisp packets

Recycled is much better than:

In a dump, landfill or even in the


People often don’t care

People should care!

About our environment

Can we keep our sea alive, it’s

Killing our world

Everyday it’s changing

Tell others!

Share our message!