Are empty sachets biodegradable? ( 3 categories of sachets).

In this blog, we shall answer the question of whether empty sachets are biodegradable.

In addition, we shall cover other areas such as;

  • Impacts of sachets on our day-to-day life
  • Different types of sachet materials.
  • Biodegradability of all sachet materials.
  • The future of biodegradable sachets.
  • Eco-friendliness of sachets.

Are empty sachets biodegradable?

Yes, some types of sachets are biodegradable depending on the material they are made of. Other types of sachets are not biodegradable, also this depends on the material from which they are made.

What are sachets made of?

Sachets are small packaging bags used to store and transport substances.

They come in different shapes and sizes and have different functionality.

Sachets are used all over the world and because of their high use, their demand has risen to very high levels and billions of sachets are produced every year in different parts of the world.

Sachets are made from different materials depending on their target use.

The different materials include:

  • Plastic.
  • Cellulose.
  • Aluminum.


Plastic is a term used to refer to long hydrocarbon polymers.

Different plastics contain different monomers and this results in plastics with different physical and chemical properties.

Different plastics have different purposes depending on their chemical and physical properties.

Some plastics are treated with chemicals for them to acquire certain properties needed for a certain purpose.

Plastics used in making sachets include:

  • Polyethylene terephthalate is also called polyester.
  • Polypropylene.
  • Low-density polyethylene.

Polyethylene terephthalate.

This is a polymer of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid.

It is used to make substances used to carry food and beverages, water, and cooking oil.

Properties of polyethylene terephthalate.

Polyethylene terephthalate has the following properties.

  • It is inert and therefore does not react with chemicals or food substances.
  • It is a strong material and highly durable.
  • It is resistant to microbial attack.
  • It is lightweight and therefore easy to carry.
  • It is fully recyclable.
Uses of polyethylene terephthalate.

Polyethylene terephthalate is used in the following ways.

  • It is used to make air filters.
  • It is used to make carpets.
  • It is used to make ropes.
  • It is used to make fishing nets.
  • It is used for liquid crystal displays.
  • It is mixed with natural fibers to make fabrics.
  • It is used to make packaging sachets.
Uses of polyethylene terephthalate sachets.

The uses include the following.

  • Making ice bags.
  • Making drug sachets.
  • Making coffee sachets.
  • To store grains like rice.
  • As a salt packaging material.
Advantages of polyethylene terephthalate.

The following are the advantages of using polyethylene terephthalate.

  • It is resistant to abrasions.
  • It is lightweight.
  • It is durable.
  • It doesn’t require lamination.
  • It has reliable quality.
  • It is easy and quick to dry.
  • It is easily printable.
Disadvantages of polyethylene terephthalate.

The following are the disadvantages of polyethylene terephthalate.

  • It holds odors as compared to natural fiber.
  • It is non-biodegradable.
  • It contains antimony-trioxide; a substance that is said to be carcinogenic.


This is a polymer of styrene hydrocarbon.

The styrene monomer is derived from crude oil and natural gas.

It is readily available as a solid or foam.

When it is in foam status it is called styrofoam.

Properties of polypropylene.

Polypropylene is used in the following ways.

  • It is chemically inert.
  • It is resistant to corrosion.
  • It is waterproof.
  • It is non-biodegradable.
  • It is naturally transparent.
Uses of polypropylene.

The uses of polypropylene include the following.

  • Making containers for food storage such as milk.
  • Making trays and disposable cups.
  • Making egg cartons.
  • In making textiles.
Uses of polypropylene sachets.

Sachets made from polypropylene are used.

  • Used as coffee bags.
  • Used to store rice.
  • Used to store drugs.
  • They are used as gift bags.
  • They are used to make labels on products.
Advantages of polypropylene.

The following are the disadvantages of polypropylene.

  • It is a relatively cheap material.
  • It is resistant to chemicals.
  • It is resistant to moisture.
  • It has high tensile strength.
  • High resistance to an electrical charge.
Disadvantages of polypropylene.

The following are the disadvantages of using polypropylene.

  • It has a high thermal expansion coefficient and hence can not be used under high temperatures.
  • It is susceptible to UV degradation.
  • It has poor resistance to aromatic and bleaching solvents.
  • It is difficult to paint.
  • It has high flammability.
  • It is non-biodegradable and thus it pollutes the environment.

Low-density polyethylene.

This is a soft, flexible, and lightweight thermoplastic polymer of ethylene.

Properties of low-density polyethylene.
  • It is flexible under low temperatures.
  • It is tough.
  • It is resistant to corrosion.
  • It is non-biodegradable.
Uses of low-density polyethylene sachets.
  • To store drugs.
  • To store coffee.
  • To store grains such as rice and groundnuts.
  • To store salt and sugar.
Disadvantages of low-level polyethylene.
  • It is non-biodegradable.
  • Low tensile strength.
  • High carbon dioxide permeability.
  • Highly flammable.
  • Poor UV resistance.


This is a natural polysaccharide that is produced by both plants and animals.

Cellulose has been used over time to produce cellulose papers which have been used to make sachets.

Properties of cellulose.

  • It’s the most abundant natural sugar in nature.
  • It is insoluble in water.
  • It is a crystalline solid with a white appearance.
  • It has high tensile strength.
  • It is susceptible to microbial degradation.

Uses of cellulose sachets.

The following are the uses of cellulose sachets.

  • In storing drugs.
  • In storing flour in shops and stores.
  • For gift packages.

Advantages of cellulose sachets.

The advantages of cellulose-based sachets and bags include.

  • They are biocompatible and hence can store food-based substances.
  • It is biodegradable and hence doesn’t pollute the environment.
  • High breathability hence stored substances remain fresh.
  • Cheap to acquire.
  • Easy to renew and recycle.

The disadvantage of cellulose sachet.

  • It is susceptible to microbial degradation and hence not durable.

Aluminum foil.

Aluminum foils are obtained from aluminum metal.

Aluminum metal is heated and then rolled into thin sheets to form aluminum foils.

The aluminum foils are used to make sachets 

Properties of aluminum foil.

  • It is resistant to light and UV penetration.
  • It reflects light and heat.
  • It’s a good conductor of electricity.
  • It is non-corrosive.
  • It’s lightweight.
  • It’s very durable.
  • It’s non-magnetic.

Uses of aluminum sachets.

  • In the medical field, it’s used to store condoms.
  • In the medical field store drugs.
  • In the food industry for the storage and transport of fast foods.
  • In storage of sweets and candies.
  • In storage of salt or sugar in hotels and shops.

Disadvantages of aluminum sachets.

They include the following.

  • They are more expensive.
  • They can corrode easily.
  • They have low toughness.
  • They are non-biodegradable.

What are the pros and cons of using sachets?


The advantages of using sachets for packaging include.

  • They are very affordable since they are more cost-effective than other packages.
  • They are easy to customize for different products since it’s easy to print on them.
  • They are biodegradable and hence they are eco-friendly.
  • They are small and lightweight and hence easy to transport and store.
  • They are airtight and thus prevent aeration of products, preventing spoilage.
  • Some are resistant to light and radiation penetration, preventing product oxidation by radiation.


According to a report on biodegradation of plastics, the disadvantages of using sachets include.

  • Non-biodegradable sachets pollute the environment.
  • They litter the environment.
  • They occur in small sizes and therefore can not carry or store bulk substances.

What is the future of sachets?

In India, engineering students from IIT institute have come up with an eco-friendly type of sachets to replace the non-biodegradable ones.

The sachet produced is thin and flexible. 

The sachets have 3 layers.

First layer.

This is the innermost layer.

It is made up of natural cellophane, a product of cellulose.

Second layer.

This is the middle layer.

It acts as the barrier for the aroma of the stored product to escape.

It contains a cellophane layer covered with a thin aluminum coating to prevent the escape of aroma and to make sachets airtight.

Third layer.

This is the outermost layer.

It is made up of a combination of starch and polyvinyl alcohol to make the layer strong and printable.

Advantages of the sachet.

The developed sachet is biodegradable, hence it will reduce environmental pollution.

It will also reduce littering.

What types of sachets are biodegradable?

Biodegradable sachets are made from natural products such as cellulose.

Sachets made from plastics and aluminum are non-biodegradable but can be recycled.


This blog article has answered the question, “is empty sachet biodegradable?”.

It has also covered other areas such as the different types of sachet materials, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of sachets, and the future of biodegradable sachets.

For any questions are comments, please comment in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs): Is an empty sachet biodegradable?

Is an empty sachet biodegradable?

The biodegradability of sachets will depend on the material used.

Those made from natural products like cellulose are biodegradable while those made from plastics are non-biodegradable.

What items are non-biodegradable?

Non-biodegradable items are those which are made from non-organic substances like plastics, aluminum, and iron.

What products are biodegradable?

Biodegradable products are those which are made from natural products, either from plants or animal products.


Nidhi Agrawal. ( February 7, 2017). The biodegradable sachet. Article on THE WAREHOUSE.

Retrieved from:

Updegraff D. M. (1969). “Semimicro determination of cellulose in biological materials”. Analytical Biochemistry. 32 (3): 420–424. doi:10.1016/S0003-2697(69)80009-6. PMID 5361396.

Degarmo, E. Paul; Black, J T.; Kohser, Ronald A. (2003). Materials and Processes in Manufacturing (9th ed.). Wiley. p. 386. ISBN 0-471-65653-4.

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