Global figures call for sample sachets to be included in UK and EU single-use plastic bans
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Published: 26 November 2020
This Article was Written by: Jarvis Smith - My Green Pod
Some 40 top experts have today called for urgent action to ‘stamp out’ non-food plastic sample sachets.
Writing in an open letter, politicians, business leaders and campaigners are calling for plastic sample sachets to be included in the UK and EU single-use plastic bans.
A loophole for sachets
The personal care industry produces 122 billion plastic sachets each year, and is expected to be the most lucrative end-use market for sachet packaging.
Despite this, there has been little action to tackle the scourge of plastic sachets. They are not covered by the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, which is set to outlaw a host of throwaway items by 2021.
The UK’s single-use plastics ban currently only covers plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds.
Campaigners believe any single-use plastic bans which do not include plastic sample sachets will fail to adequately protect the environment.
Sack the sachet
Plastic sample sachets used by the personal and home care industries package single doses of products including perfume, shampoo, shower gel and detergent to encourage sales of full-size products.
Virtually never recycled, the world is set to go through a trillion sachets by 2030.
The open letter marks the next stage of A Plastic Planet’s Sack the Sachet campaign, an international movement demanding urgent action to tackle the billions of plastic sachets sold and thrown away each year.
‘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.
‘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.’
Co-founder of A Plastic Planet
Support for sachet ban
The letter has attracted cross-party political support from 22 parliamentarians, including former environment advisor to Theresa May, Lord Randall of Uxbridge and former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
Members of the European Parliament Margrete Auken, Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Eleonora Evi and Ivan Vilibor Sincic also gave their backing.
Leading campaigners supporting the calls include Mary Rice, executive director of the Environmental Investigation Agency, and president of The Ocean Foundation Mark Spalding.
Business leaders including Iceland Foods’ managing director Richard Walker, and experts including Professor Julia Stegemann from University College London, and Dr Paul Butler from the University of Exeter, have also signed.