Probably because Americans as a whole, compared to, say, Canadians, don’t rate green issues as much of a priority; the Republican and Libertarian parties decry environmental regulations and actions as “unnecessary” because it interferes with free market business practices. Likely a good chunk of Americans rated the slight annoyance of a crinkly package as more important than its ability to decompose.
I believe this has to do with the way in which people eat individual-sized bagged chips in the US. They are often eaten in offices and other workplaces where there are other people around to comment about the noise. The US consumer also wants their products to be as convenient and hassle-free as possible, and minor hassles will result in complaints. That, and the impact of a Facebook group called “SORRY BUT I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THIS SUN CHIPS BAG” (which had over 44,000 friends in October of 2010) may have played a role. If there is enough of a fuss about something, most companies will change their practices.
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