How I Manage to Lessen my Plastic in a Sachet Economy

The Philippines is one of the countries who contributes to a lot of plastic in landfills and the ocean. Everything can be seen packed in plastic sachets. People fall into buying these products because it’s cheap, and I can’t blame them because I do that too before. If companies offer an only cheaper alternative with less plastic packaging, it would be great. Or, if our government would find a way to help the economic status of the country, then there is a bigger chance that people will consume products with less plastic.

Another problem here in the city I live is that there are not many options for buying bulk, and if you do, vendors place them in plastic packaging (even though plastic has been banned, it doesn’t make sense at all). That’s why it’s difficult for me to find places with no packaging, but I’ve tried some ways to minimize the use of plastic in my life. And here, I’ll be sharing how I manage to reduce my plastic, coming from a country that’s so obsessed with plastic packaging. I’ve even read that we are known to be the sachet economy.

sachet shampoo
Shampoo in sachet. Photo via

I go to the market

One thing we are lucky enough in the Philippines is that we have a public market place where we can buy fresh vegetables, fish, and meat. We don’t have to go to the grocery store and buy there. The Philippines is an agricultural country, therefore, these products are easy to buy in bulk. However, sadly, some vendors packed some of their items in individual plastics. But what I do is I buy them in bulk, not the pre-packed items. I don’t use plastic bags, instead, I use my handmade produce bags.

public market in the Philippines
Market in the Philippines. Photo via

I changed my diet

Indeed! Instead of eating junk foods, I shifted my snacks into more healthier option. I buy fruits and oats (but oats in my city are packed in plastic packaging). I even found a way to eat more nuts, and I have found I small shop in my city where I can buy bulk nuts (it’s not cheap), but for the earth and my health, I’ll do it.

nuttin' better offers bulk orders
Nuttin’ Better has bulk orders. Photo via Nuttin’ Better’s Facebook page

I have discovered that they offer oats that I can buy in bulk, so next time I’m done with mine, I’ll be only purchasing from them, package-free.

I buy less

The best thing about this lifestyle I am choosing is that I have lesser options, which means I buy less. When I see something and it has a plastic packaging I have the option to ask myself if do I really need it or not. However, if I really need it and there is no other choice, then I have to buy it.

I swap some items

Like I mentioned, in the beginning, I used to buy most of my things in sachets, like my shampoo, toothpaste, detergent, and more. It’s cheap, and that’s what I can afford, however, I realized that it’s not actually cheap. When you buy bulk it’s a one-time big-time spending of money, and you notice it, but for items in sachets, it makes you think you are spending less, but actually, you are spending more. Because when you add all of it, it’s as expensive or even more expensive than buying in bulk.

Now I buy things in bulk, like my toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and more.

package-free items
No plastic packaging. Photo by Vee

I learn to say no

It’s difficult to say no when people offer you things or freebies, but since choosing this lifestyle, I learned to say no when someone gives me something made out of plastic. I learn to say to the vendor to put my item on my produce bag instead of a plastic. At the end of the day, I feel good because I’m trying to live a life that I am really passionate about.

There are still some items I buy that are packed in single-use plastic, such us my cat’s medication, food, tissue paper, and some item’s like bullion cubes.

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