Did you know that, every year, enough single-dose sachets are produced to wrap the entire planet?
Sadly, sachets are designed to be trashed. They can’t be reused, for obvious reasons. And, because they are made out of different types of plastic, they cannot be composted or recycled either. So, once they have fulfilled their 2-minute purpose in life, they will spend the 500-1,000 years it will take them to fully degrade in a landfill (in the best of cases) or in the environment, where they are difficult to remove because of their size. And very often, sachets don’t even get to fulfill their purpose in life: We all have seen people grab a handful of free ketchup sachets, use a couple of them, and toss the rest in the garbage bin.
Sachets may seem like a very practical idea, but they are an environmental nightmare. This is especially true in Asian countries, where big USA and European companies push them as a seemingly cheap way to get many products, such as shampoo or toothpaste, generating an amount of trash that those countries cannot handle and that, therefore, ends up polluting land and waterways. (Check out this article about the problems sachets have been causing in the Philippines.)
There is no single good reason for single-use, single-dose sachets to exist. So remember to turn them down when you order your food or when they are offered to you, and request that condiments be provided in larger, glass containers. We don’t need to cover the globe with that kind of trash!