Marketing & Communications Packaging

Tea Company Claims PLA is Not Plastic

PRESS RELEASE - Clipper Tea claims first plastic-free tea bag. Company claims PLA is not plastic !

From the 20th October 2018 we moved all our production to the first plastic-free, unbleached and non GM (genetically modified) tea bags and we won’t be going back! But we don’t believe in waste so please bear with us while the current packaging stock sells through the shops. This may take a few months but we are hoping that by the time you buy your next box it will have wonderfully plastic-free tea bags in it!

Why did you have plastic in your tea bags in the first place?

We needed a way to seal the two layers of our tea bag paper together, as paper will not stick to paper, and glue was never used. Unbleached filter paper containing polypropylene was our solution to this and provide the heat-seal function. We never used or considered using PLA (polylactic acid) material in the past (the biodegradable material used for some pyramid bags and other packaging) as it is derived from corn which may be from GM sources. But recent developments mean there is now a new source of PLA which is guaranteed to be from a non-GM source. We were delighted that finally a non-GM source had been found and we started work on development of our new unbleached plastic-free & non-GM paper straight away.

Our new tea bag paper is made from natural plant based materials – a blend of abaca (a species of banana), plant cellulose fibres and PLA- a bio-polymer derived from non-GM plant material that helps hold the paper together – and what’s great is that it does not contain any synthetic polypropylene material.

After lots of production trials throughout 2018 we are proud to say that all products produced from the 20th October will be made with the first plastic-free, unbleached non-GM tea bag paper and we won’t be going back! Look out for the on pack flash on some of our products. Don’t see it? Don’t worry. Change takes time. We won’t send perfectly good product or packaging to waste, so there’ll be a transition as shops make way for the new plastic-free bags. This may take a few months but we are hoping that by the time you buy your next box it will have wonderfully plastic free tea bags in it.

Absolutely not!  The same great taste and quality remains at the heart of all we do, it’s just that the used tea bags will be suitable to be popped into your food waste container.

The new plastic-free tea bag paper is biodegradable and compostable to industrial standards. The best place to put the used tea bags is into the food waste container provided by your local council. The paper and tea inside can be commercially composted and then used as compost elsewhere. See following link for more information

The new paper is biodegradable and will break down over time, however this may take longer than is expected within home composting environments. While its certainly wet enough in the UK for composting, unfortunately it is rarely warm enough to make efficient home composting possible. We recommend  that you pop the tea bag in your home food waste container.

 

CLOSING REMARKS

  • Clipper Tea is one of the first company to claim that PLA (biobased bioplastics) is not a plastic but a biopolymer. Brilliant!
  • Initially, plastic is not a material but an attribute (plasticity). That’s why we call aesthetic surgery …  plastic surgery.
  • Maybe, it’s just that simple … biobased plastics should not be called a plastic but a bio-material or biopolymer.

REFS