Environment groups call on gov’t to phase out plastic sachets in 3 years

Environment groups Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) Asia Pacific and Break Free From Plastic made a call for the phase-out of plastic sachets.

plastic sachet waste pollution

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Bombona78

(60 billion sachets and 17.5 billion plastic bags are thrown each year in the Philippines)

They asked the Philippine government to ban companies from using sachets as packaging for products to lessen plastic waste in the country. While the efforts of individual companies to use more sustainable packaging is commendable, they push that only government regulation will force a significant change.

“We’re recommending the government to phase out the use of sachets ideally in 3 years. Hopefully, that would give time for businesses to rethink and put more investments in redesigning products and delivery systems,” said Miko Aliño, program manager of GAIA.

Aliño illustrated that efforts to address plastic pollution are currently aimed at collecting waste rather than reducing plastic production.

“If we don’t produce these materials in the first place then we don’t have to deal with the leakage, we don’t have to deal with lots of cleanups,” he said.

The groups also called for support of alternative delivery schemes like zero-waste stores and refilling stations.

In line with this, the groups called for government to enact a law that institutes extended producer responsibility (EPR) to hold companies accountable for the disposal and recycling of their products.

Break Free From Plastic national coordinator Rei Panaligan explained that there must be a “change in narrative” when talking about plastic pollution.

“People are being blamed for the plastic waste, especially consumers. And the burden and responsibility on managing the plastic waste falls [on] the cities and the local government units,” stressed Panaligan. “The burden of that should fall into the industry and the manufacturing because that’s the waste of the product.”

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