The UK government is being urged to ban plastic sachets - billions of which are discarded every year.
Environmental campaigners, politicians, and business leaders have signed an open letter to the government urging it to tackle the plastic packages which are used for products including ketchup, shampoo, and mayonnaise.
The letter marks the start of a campaign called Sack the Sachet, launched by advocacy organization A Plastic Planet, which says 855 billion sachets are used globally every year.
'Slaves to the sachet'
"We have become slaves to the sachet. Unless urgent action is taken we are set to use one trillion of them by 2030. And almost all of these packets will be made of plastic," says the letter, whose signatories include Iceland Foods' managing director, Richard Walker, environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, and A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland.
"Ketchup, soy sauce, and mustard; shampoo and moisturizer; towelettes and face wipes, washing powder and detergent – even milk is sold in a single-serve, single-use plastic sachet.
"Billions of plastic composite sachets each year are destined for landfill, incineration or, most likely, end up in our environment. Now more than ever before, it’s time to sack the plastic sachet."
'Close the legal loophole'
A Plastic Planet co-founder, Sian Sutherland, said: "In recent years governments and business have gone all-out to enforce a ban on plastic straws, cotton buds and even bags.
"And yet the plastic sachet, the ultimate symbol of our grab-and-go, convenience-addicted lifestyle, has been virtually invisible to all.
"The result? Our earth is saturated with these uncollectable, unrecyclable, contaminated, valueless little packets. It's time to close the legal loophole."