A Plastic Planet’s mission is simple: “to ignite and inspire the world to turn off the plastic tap,” because we are all plastic addicts. The social impact group’s most recent initiative was launched by publishing an open letter entitled “Sack the Sample Sachet” in The Telegraph, urging the UK government to include sachets in European and UK legislation that bans other “throwaway” items such as plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds (swabs).
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said: “In recent years governments and business have gone all out to enforce a ban on plastic straws, cotton buds and even bags. And yet the plastic sachet, the ultimate symbol of our grab and go, convenience-addicted lifestyle, has been virtually invisible to all. The result? Our Earth is saturated with these uncollectable, unrecyclable, contaminated, valueless little packets. It’s time to close the legal loophole. Now more than ever before we have to sack the sachet.”
According to A Plastic Planet, 855 billion sachets are used globally every year—enough to cover the entire surface of the Earth, with many being thrown away without ever being opened. Beauty personal care companies worldwide produce around 122 billion plastic “single-use, valueless and unrecyclable” sachets each year, and the personal care and cosmetic industry is expected to be “the most lucrative end-use market for sachet packaging.”
Sample packets have been the vehicle to support consumer trial in the beauty industry for decades. While they are a cost-effective option, they are rarely recycled—as an industry we can do better.
Photo: Vic via Unsplash