Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is struggling with the inflationary pressure that results from Russia’s war in Ukraine.
They are faced with soaring costs many Nigerians are now buying essential products in small quantities to be consumed on the same day.
“Not everybody has money to buy in bulk. Like this baby now, if he wants to drink ‘Pure Water’ (brand of water sachet sold in Nigeria that costs 250 nairas or $0.60, ed.) but you cannot have money to buy in bulk, you can only buy one and drink. Because things are too expensive”, complained Nigerian vendor Babalola Rose.
In the streets of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital, small sachets are now part of everyday life.
Many Nigerians survive on less than two US dollars a day.
“Before, if someone wanted to buy like groundnut oil, they would buy a bottle but now there is no money and things are very expensive. Before the sachet oil was cheaper than the other one, now people prefer to buy the sachets because they don’t have money to buy a lot of quantity”, said another vendor, Adjene Dukas.
Critics see the new development as an economic and ecological aberration.
The increased use of plastic sachets aggravates the environmental situation.
“The impact of the sachet economy means that we have more single-use plastics being put into the environment at a very very alarming rate causing a lot of concerns for the ocean, for people and the planet” alerted Oluwaseyi Moejoh, a Nigerian environmental activist.
Nigeria has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed up consumer prices 17% in 2021 forcing an additional six million Nigerians into poverty.