Sachets have long provided benefits to Filipinos, their size making products more convenient as well as more affordable. However, they have become a scourge of the environment due to their volume and composition, as well as of local governments and communities because of growing cleanup and disposal costs. Filipinos are increasingly aware of this problem and have expressed willingness to move towards pro-environmental and more sustainable behaviors.
While efforts have been introduced by companies that pretend to effectively recycle sachets, at best they are infeasible solutions that do not address the root and the magnitude of the problem. They merely delay waste generation rather than prevent resource extraction. In short, they do not take the long view—for the long view will mean doing away or breaking free from single-use plastics.
The plastic crisis is often likened by environmentalists to a tub full of water, wherein false solutions are the same as removing water a few teaspoons at the time, while the tap is running. We must turn off the tap. It is possible, because there have always been better alternatives to plastics. Corporations must exercise greater leadership and stewardship over the environment, with the support of government and consumers. The path forward—a path without sachets and other single-use plastics—is walked along together