Clipper Teas, the ethical tea brand owned by Wessanen UK, has pledged to have a fully biodegradable tea bag in operation by the summer after completing initial trials on a new substrate.
A main priority for the business, the new plastic-free tea bags will also be unbleached and GM free in line with the brand’s natural and organic values.
Clipper’s commitment to producing tea that is natural, fair and delicious has been at the heart of decision-making since the brand’s launch in 1984. It is what drove the brand to be the UK’s first Fairtrade tea company and was behind the decision to introduce unbleached tea bags across its full range.
With a strong environmental focus, the brand only ever uses 100% natural ingredients and is a certified carbon neutral company.
Adele Ward, Clipper Teas Brand Controller at Wessanen UK, comments: “We are committed to making sure our tea is made in a natural way with a clear conscience. To help minimise 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. The development of this new substrate which is completely GM free and 100% unbleached means it’s taking a little more time to finalise, 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.
“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.”
From its home in Dorset, Clipper manufactures an extensive variety of organic and Fairtrade teas and coffees – from everyday blends to green tea and infusions. Clipper is now the world’s largest buyer of Fairtrade tea and exports its products to over 50 countries worldwide.
All of Clipper’s products are made with pure ingredients from the highest-quality sources, with nothing artificial added.