As public pressure grows,
Clipper is latest brand to end use of plastic in teabags
Firm joins PG Tips in dropping synthetic sealants as other major producers look to make bags 100% biodegradable
2022年世界杯预赛 The UK’s longest-established Fairtrade tea brand has become the latest to ditch synthetic sealants in its teabags, amid mounting consumer pressure on manufacturers to help cut down on plastic pollution.
Clipper Teas – which champions the unbleached teabag – hopes to introduce a new, fully biodegradable bag free of polypropylene, a sealant used across the industry to ensure bags hold their shape, by the summer.
Meanwhile a new national petition from the campaigning organisation 38 Degrees, calling on other brands to do the same, has attracted more than 125,000 signatures. Its first petition, directed at the UK’s largest tea brand, PG Tips, attracted 230,000 signatures in February – at which point it announced that its new eco-friendly pyramid teabags – made from a plant-based material that is 100% renewable and biodegradable – were about to go on sale in UK supermarkets.
2022年世界杯预赛 The Observer reported in January that the Co-op, which sells 367 million teabags a year, is creating a fully biodegradable paper teabag for its own-brand Fairtrade 99 tea. The new bags are expected to go on sale by the end of the year. Amid growing concern about plastic waste, many consumers have been shocked to learn that most UK teabags are not fully biodegradable.
Twinings recently announced it is “actively developing and trialling fully biodegradable tea bags”, while Yorkshire Tea and Tetley confirmed they are looking at removing plastic from teabags. Yorkshire Tea hopes to make the switch after the end of trials in June.
Clipper Teas was the UK’s first Fairtrade tea brand – launched in 1994 – and is known for using only unbleached teabags and 100% natural ingredients.
Adele Ward, brand controller at Clipper, said: “To help minimise our impact on the environment our aim is to create a teabag paper made from all plant-based material. Not only will it be biodegradable, but it will remain unbleached and adhere to our organic principles. The development of this new substrate, which is completely GM free and 100% unbleached, means it is taking a little more time to finalise, but is a key priority. We hope to have a plastic-free teabag in operation by the summer.”
According to the trade body the UK Tea and Infusions Association, teabags account for 96% of the 165 million cups of tea drunk every day in the UK. “It will come as a shock to many tea drinkers that almost all of the 165 million cups of tea are adding to our burgeoning plastic crisis,” said Ben Craig, campaign manager at 38 Degrees.
“If Clipper and PG Tips can switch, there is no excuse for Britain’s other big tea companies like Typhoo – who must now live up to their environmental responsibilities.”
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