OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Silicon Sachets

This introduces a more sustainable system that stands by the reasons people need sachets, but decreases the material waste.

Photo of Jill
1 1

Written by

Sachets are also a major waste problem in the Philippines, but it is undeniable how these can help local communities survive on a day-to-day basis. Besides unit cost, sachets are advantageous because of their size. With a small quantity, consumers are able to easily measure and budget their product usage. One sachet could typically last between 3-5 uses depending on the user's needs, which gives them a control point that helps them predict how much they'd need to spend (or earn) for basic needs. Thus, many low-income communities feel that sachets are a choice of short-term convenience and day-to-day economy that bulk sizes cannot provide.  

Implications for corporations:

1) The continuation of sampling and repeat purchases, as with sachets.

2) Longer-lasting branding tool that consumers will reuse on a day-to-day basis.

3) Lower supply chain/transportation cost and risk that comes with transporting smaller containers.

Implications for low-income consumers:

1) Sized like regular sachets, silicon sachets will still allow them to measure their usage. If this is the primary reason they choose to buy sachets, then they may be able to purchase bulk quantities and use these sachets to ration their daily product use.

2) The size still allows them to control their cost.

3) Gradual introduction of reusable (and portable) materials that have other applications as well.

4) The option for refilling these anywhere they are - whether from home, stores or wherever they travel to.

5) These have more recyclable value than sachets for waste collectors.

Idea Title

Sulit Pack

Where are you / your team located?

Philippines

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

This provides a more economical option for local stores, a reusable vessel to the consumers with a the functionality of a sachet, and advantageous benefits for the bottom and top lines of corporations.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

This particularly applies to case 1, but I think that this can also be applicable to case 2 and 3 as well.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

Philippines / Asia

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

I want to work with corporations because they are the top producers of sachets. The first obstacle is how the cost will be viewed - though more costly than plastic, silicon can also be seen as a long-term branding exercise. Second, consumers and store operators will have to be educated. Third, product tampering can be an issue at the local store level, but this can be addressed with sealing technology and systems that corporations are already familiar with.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

The goal is product adoption by both consumers and corporations, and a reduction of sachet use by at least 20% in the first year of commercial operations. The first step is material development - finding a sustainable yet cost-effective silicon material. Second is working with a corporate partner to research user needs, the feasibility of alternative packaging, and maximizing a broad supply chain network. Third is involving local government to educate the masses.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

I got this idea after speaking to our household help. We pay for their personal care items, and yet, they still chose to buy loads of sachets because this was what they were used to for the reasons above. I realized that the idea of sachets were deeply ingrained in them and that we needed to come up with a solution that is easy to comprehend and still has these advantages at heart.

Tell us about your work experience

I grew up in the Philippines and worked in recruitment consulting in Beijing for six years. I've always been interested in development solutions, and will be attending MIT's IDM program this fall.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Jill,

It is great to see you in the challenge.

Would you change the design of the sachets?
What changes are needed to the current manufacturing process for sachets to implement this idea?

I just want to highlight some other ideas in the challenge that might interest you and are connected to your sachets:

Sustainable Sachet Replacement for Bottom of the Pyramid Families that Stops the Flow of Plastic Waste While Increasing Disposable Incomes Dispensers Condiment Dispensing Conveyor 

Please feel free to tag me using '@' then type my name (Kate Rushton) if you have any questions at all.