OUR ENVIRONMENTAL STANCE ON PACKAGING
We are regularly asked about the way that we pack our tea, and often these questions are focused on an environmental concern surrounding plastics, glues and non-recycled elements. We don’t use any of these elements in our packaging, and this article helps to further explain our stance on environment focused packaging.
BIODEGRADABLE PYRAMID TEA BAGS
We are happy to say that our pyramid tea bags are made from a biodegradable mesh called Soilon, which is produced in Japan and has met all compostability standards in Japan, North America and Europe. It looks very similar to Nylon, however, how it is produced, what it is produced from and how it breaks down is very different. Soilon is made from a multitude of different plant starches (sugars), predominantly from beet, sugar cane and corn. These are produced using a renewable resource and are not oil-based plastic or Nylon. We also pack them here in Australia to further reduce our transport footprint. The bags are then sealed via ultrasonic sealing, so there is no glue used on the bags or the tags. They do take longer to breakdown than food scraps so it is important that you compost them correctly, with the appropriate temperature, moisture and PH to get them to decompose in a reasonable time frame. We have personally tested the biodegradability in our own home compost and found that they did indeed break down well in a warm, composting environment.
It is important that we note, if you are considering which option (tea bags or loose leaf tea) has the least negative effect on the environment, the answer is definitely loose leaf. Personally, we think the best environmentally responsible option for consuming tea is in loose leaf form. It reduces excess packaging from either pyramids or paper tea bags and as we pack all loose leaf tea by hand it also reduces energy consumption, as minimal machinery is needed to complete these products. In addition, we believe loose leaf tea is the best option to enjoy a more authentic tea experience.
In order to preserve the freshness of our products, we pack all of our tea (loose leaf and pyramids) into cellophane pouches before we place them into our outer cardboard packaging. This clear packaging is actually a biodegradable plant-based cellophane, made from renewable wood resources. These bags are not polypropylene bags like many food grade bags, which mean that you can easily compost our cellos in your home compost, and they will naturally break down quite quickly.
We are a small business but we still invest a great deal of time, energy and resources each year into our cello bags, biodegradable pyramid materials and post consumer recycled cardboard. This is the foundation of why we started Love Tea; to leave less of a negative impact on the earth, and so that we can provide more environmentally friendly biodegradable products for our customers.
THE CARDBOARD BOXES
Our outer packaging is made from recycled cardboard and is printed using vegetable inks, which is also very important from an environmental standpoint.
The base liquid for vegetable inks is derived from a variety of vegetable oils such as linseed, coconut, canola and soybean, among others. These are a great choice for the environment, as these oils are a renewable resource, not derived from petroleum bases and don’t have the negative effects that solvent based inks do on the environment. These inks can be cleaned from the printers using a water-based cleaner, rather than chemical solvents, and are easily de-inked by wastepaper processors during the recycling process, making them more recyclable than solvent-printed products.
In addition to all of these carefully considered choices, our blends are certified organic through ACO (Australian Certified Organic) to ensure we have traceability of organic agriculture through our supply chain.
Our final founding philosophy was to sign up to 1 % For The Planet where we donate 1% of sales (not profits) to non-for-profit environmental organisations that are working tirelessly to reduce the environmental impact that we all make on our planet. We are committed to reducing our footprint and carefully consider each choice we have, to ensure customers can enjoy Love Tea products, knowing that they are not only making a healthier choice for themselves, but a better choice for the environment as well.