We all want less plastic in the environment but unfortunately a lot of tea bags contain a small amount of polypropylene plastic. This may surprise some of you but until recently it has been an essential ingredient to help the tea bag paper seal together.
But not anymore!
Clipper’s tea bags are sealed with a completely natural, non-GM bio-material made from plant cellulose, known as PLA.
They are completely free of polypropylene – the oil-based plastic that is so damaging to the environment. The material we use is entirely natural, industrially compostable and much more environmentally friendly.
The bio-material we use is considered plastic-free according to the definition by environmental group A Plastic Planet.
We always want our consumers to have bags more to feel good about which is why we are so proud to have launched the world’s first plastic-free, unbleached and non-GM pillow tea bags. The team in our Dorset factory worked tirelessly to create a new tea bag paper that’s plastic-free, but is also unbleached and sticks to our organic principles. That’s quite a tall order.
Firstly, creating a plastic-free tea bag isn’t as easy as you might think. The really tricky thing to solve is the issue of the glue that holds the paper together: the PLA. We needed to find a reliable way of making sure our teabags would stay together in a cupful of hot water.
It took over 12 months to the find the best solution and guarantee a reliable source of PLA that’s non-GM. That last part is essential for our organic products and something we absolutely insisted upon.
After many production trials, we are delighted to have switched all production over to the new paper in 2018.
Now we’ve developed a plastic-free tea bag that’s completely free of polypropylene, there’s no stopping us! This enables the used tea bags to be placed into the household food waste bin, so not only meaning the filter paper avoids landfill but also the used tea inside.
We’re also exploring a number of green packaging initiatives, including improving our recyclability and reducing our packaging weight.