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Is there plastic in our tea and packaging? | teapigs

Posted by Sarah on 12th January 2018

Is there plastic in our tea and packaging? | teapigs

There’s been lots of interest lately (and rightly so) in the revelation that many teabags contain plastic, as well as the need to move away from unrecyclable plastic in packaging (we saw Blue Planet – we were horrified too).

Recently, more and more of you have been getting in touch to ask for clarity on certain issues - namely, does teapigs tea contain plastic? So, to help put your minds at ease (and to help show us the areas we still need to work on), we have put together a handy guide to show you exactly what each of our products are made from and how best to reuse, recycle or dispose of them.

Our 15 and 50 tea temple packs:

What are the tea temples made from?

You’ll be very pleased to hear that our tea temples have NEVER contained plastic. The temples and the string attached are made from cornstarch, a natural carbohydrate extracted from corn. The label on the end of the string is made from simple, old-fashioned paper. Even the ink on the label is vegetable-based, and everything is sealed with heat – so no glue! As a result, our tea temples are fully biodegradable.  

What should I do with them?

In short – please don’t compost them at home! Whilst they are fully biodegradable, this does differ from being compostable. Although they will eventually break down in compost, it would take a pretty long time and result in tea temples strewn across your flowerbeds (and no one wants that). So instead, pop them in with your food waste. Most councils have industrial food waste systems designed to allow the necessary micro-organisms needed to break down biodegradable materials, to thrive. If you send your tea temples to your local council with your food waste, they will break them down within 12 weeks. If you don’t currently have a food waste collection – it’s time to put pressure on your local council to get one!

What are the clear inner bags made from?

We’ve recently invested in switching to a wonder-material called Natureflex. The geniuses at Futamura have figured out how to convert renewable wood pulp into airtight packaging, which means that the clear inner bag which keeps your delicious tea fresh is now compostable! (...game changer right!?) 

All our teas are now being packed in Natureflex, meaning they’re filtering through to shelves near you as we speak! As with all major production changes, please do bear with us while we fully switch over - we’ll keep you all updated on progress every step of the way.    

To read more about the amazing Natureflex, check out Futamura’s website here

What should I do with them?

As Natureflex is compostable – you can throw them in your home compost bin! It will feel SO wrong, but it’s the future! (…we hope)

However, until we’ve fully switched over, best be on the safe side and recycle the older bags where possible. They are made from polypropylene, which is recyclable & becoming more & more widely accepted for home recycling (double check with your local council). 

What are the outer cartons made from?

The outer cartons of our 15s, 50s, matcha 30g tin, and matcha sachets are made from FSC certified paper. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. They are an incredible organisation who only source wood for production from forests that are sustainably managed. By using their packaging paper, we know that the forests it comes from will be protected and conserved for generations to come. The cartons are recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable. What’s more, the ink we use to print on our cartons is vegetable-based, so you’re covered on all fronts. Just don’t try to eat it.

To learn more about the FSC and the fantastic work they do in helping to preserve woodland worldwide, check out their website here.

What should I do with them?

We recommend putting them in your home recycling bin.

Our tins of tea:  

What are they made from?

Our tins of tea are made from tinplate and aluminium. They are both reusable and recyclable.

What should I do with them?

Why would you throw away such a useful, stylish tin after one use?! You wouldn’t! Put stationery in it, use it for storing biscuits or (our favourite) fill it with more tea temples. If, finally, after many years of happy use you no longer have space for it, you can pop it in your home recycling bin.

Our matcha tins:

What are they made from?

Our matcha tins are made from tinplate. Just like our tea tins, they are recyclable.

What should I do with them?

Once you’ve finished all your delicious, nutritious matcha, pop your tin in your home recycling bin, or reuse them – we've found they are handy for storing pins or buttons!  


Our pledge for 2018 (…and beyond)

Put simply, we want to be the greenest tea company going – and hopefully from the above info you can see we’re well on our way! We’re not perfect, but as a team we’re SO motivated to get this right. There are still a couple of products in our range for which we want to source different materials (it’s definitely the year of Natureflex!) – so for full transparency, we’ve listed them below to show what we’re working on this year. 

Loose tea pouches

Our loose tea pouches are made from paper and polyethylene, which are both recyclable materials. However, as the pouch is a composite, the materials need to be separated for them to be recycled, which many councils refuse to do. We are working on a solution to this problem. In the meantime, why not try to find another use for the packaging when you finish your tea?

Matcha sachets

Again, our matcha sachets are currently a composite, meaning they aren’t recyclable in the UK. Fear not, we’re working on getting this fixed ASAP. Why not check out our range of recyclable matcha tins if you’re a hardcore matcha drinker.

 

And there we have it – we really hope this helps clear up any concerns, but if you’ve still got questions (or suggestions!) check out our recently updated FAQ page or pop us an email on info@teapigs.co.uk