Clipper’s plastic-free pledge

Wessenen UK-owned Fairtrade tea brand Clipper has announced it will go plastic-free by summer 2018.

The brand has pledged to have in operation a fully biodegradable, unbleached, GM-free tea bag, to fall in line with its natural and organic values. Adele Ward, Clipper Teas brand controller at Wessanen UK, says the brand wants to ensure its tea is made with a ‘clear conscience’.

“To help minimize our impact on the environment our aim is to create a tea bag paper made from all plant-based materials. Not only will it be biodegradable, it will also remain unbleached and adhere to our organic principles.”

Ward explains that the ‘development of this new substrate’ is taking ‘a little more time to finalize’ due to the brand’s commitment to making keeping it GM-free and unbleached. “But this is a key priority for us. We have already completed two production trials and hope to have a plastic-free tea bag in operation by the summer,” she says.

This is a key priority for us

“We are aware of an existing alternative tea bag substrate made from corn which is biodegradable and suitable for the food waste bin, however, because the corn used can potentially be from genetically modified sources it is not an acceptable option for Clipper. Therefore, we’ve invested our time to find the right solution and are now trialling an alternative which is 100% biodegradable, compostable, non-GM, and unbleached, thus ticking all boxes for Clipper and helping to protect our planet.”

The move comes as public pressure mounts for both the mainstream and natural sector to create workable alternatives to plastic, which in the packaging of tea means the absence of synthetic sealants and plastic mesh bags. Earlier this year, Coop announced it was to give the same treatment to its 99 Tea Blend range.