Campaigners, business leaders and parliamentarians have written an open letter to call for the billions of personal care sample sachets used each year to be included in UK and EU single-use plastic bans.
The letter, part of A Plastic Planet’s Sack the Sachet campaign, attracted cross-party support from 22 UK parliamentarians, MEPs, and campaigners including Mary Rice, executive director of the Environmental Investigation Agency, and president of The Ocean Foundation Mark Spalding. Iceland Foods’ MD Richard Walker, Professor Julia Stegemann from University College London and Dr Paul Butler from the University of Exeter also signed.
The hundreds of billions of sample sachets pumped out by the personal and home care industries each year … will pollute the planet for centuries
The personal care industry produces 122 billion plastic sachets each year – used for single doses of perfume, shampoo, shower gel and detergent to encourage sales of full-size products – and we are likely to go through a trillion sachets globally by 2030. However, they aren’t covered by the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, which is set to ban plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds by 2021.
“We’ve seen governments across the world crow about bans on single-use plastics, but the sample sachet is a huge piece of the pollution puzzle which every one of them is missing,” stresses Sian Sutherland, A Plastic Planet co-founder. “The hundreds of billions of sample sachets pumped out by the personal and home care industries each year are used to drive instant sales but will pollute the planet for centuries.
“With solutions readily available there is no excuse for inaction. Any ban on single-use plastics must cover sample sachets to stamp them out once and for all.”