Twins bag themselves a victory to savour

Rosie and Ruby Ward with their collection of crisp packets.
Rosie and Ruby Ward with their collection of crisp packets.

Ten-year-old twins Rosie and Ruby Ward are celebrating after forcing a U-turn from crisp giant Walkers - with a little bit of help from the Horncastle News.

The duo signed up for the company’s crisp packet recycling scheme this summer.

They had watched their favourite nature programmes on TV, including an episode when a rare turtle was ‘snared’ by discarded plastic.

The Walkers’ scheme sees empty crisp packets sent back to the company in return for a cash payment which can be spent on a charity chosen by the collectors.

Rosie and Ruby quickly persuaded friends, family and neighbours to contribute.

Even regulars at the village pub - The Blue Bell - joined in.

The girls decided to spend any money from Walkers on either the village green in Belchford or the Tetford based Edward Richardson Primary School where they are pupils.

However, when the family contacted Walkers to ask for a courier to pick up the packets, they were told that the service was no longer available.

Instead, Walkers said the twins would have to take the packets to a central collection point.

The nearest points were at Apley near Langworth, Spilsby or north of Louth - all involving 26-mile round trips.

Any money the girls raised would go to projects chosen by people running those collection points.

Heartbroken, the twins turned to grandma Dinah Ward who runs the Horncastle Cake and Arts shop.

Mrs Ward contacted the News, explaining how upset the twins were, but stressing they were determined to carry on collecting.

She also said the company had refused an offer to use her town centre shop as a collection point.

The News immediately contacted Walkers who, within hours, reversed the decision and said the girls could use the courier service.

The company also said Mrs Ward’s shop could be used as a collection point for the whole of Horncastle.

The twins’ mum, Jo, said the family were ‘over the moon’ and thanked the News.

She said: “We could never understand why Walkers made the decision in the first place.

“It broke the girls’ hearts. They were absolutely gutted because they had worked so hard to collect all the packets.

“Now, they couldn’t be happier

Rosie and Ruby told the News they love nature, and were worried about the future of the planet.

Ruby said: “We watched programmes on television - including the one where the turtle had plastic wrapped around it. It was awful.

“We then saw the BBC News about the (Walkers) recycling.

“It takes 40 years for a crisp packet to decompose.

“We asked grandma and she signed us up, because we were too young.

“We were really excited. We asked everyone we knew to help and we had a collection box outside our home.”

Rosie said they were ‘very upset’ when their grandma told them what Walkers had initially said ‘no’.

She added: “We wanted any money to go to something we care about.

“Mum said the nearest point would have meant us travelling 26 miles.

“That’s a long way on our bikes!”

Dinah Ward is now putting plans together to collect packets at the shop in North Street, Horncastle and hopes everyone in Horncastle will donate.

She said: “Horncastle has a population of over 6,000, but we do not have a collection point in the town.

“We try to help our children to recycle and save the planet but grown ups who should have more sense and be more adaptable are stopping them.”

A spokesman for Walkers thanked the News for bringing the twins’ situation to their attention.

He said the success of the scheme had led to problems and a waiting list for courier collections.