Reducing the Environmental Impact of Tea Packaging
Tea is one of the most popular global beverages, and it’s no wonder. Equally suited to a soothing winter warm-up or a summer refreshment, tea is enjoyed around the fireplace, on the back porch, and in cafes and specialty shops around the world. This all-natural beverage is also an obvious fit for earth-conscious brands, but a misstep in packaging choices can mean a significant mismatch between eco-friendly buzzwords and the actual impact of a product on the environment. Sustainable tea packaging is important—now more than ever.
Teas can be very delicate, so packaging over the decades has often been focused on multiple layers to preserve freshness, user-friendly convenience features, and even brand recognition. But consumers, more than ever, demand environmental responsibility from the brands they support, and are willing to check out new brands as well as new formats from familiar brands. Tea manufacturers need to take into account such common packaging practices as these—and come up with better alternatives:
- Overpackaging: Popular brands have traditionally been packaged in boxes with an outer wrapping of plastic. Some have also then included an additional layer of internal packaging. All this extra packaging can lead to significant (and bulky) waste.
- Individual wrapping: Individual tea bags are often wrapped in yet another layer of plastic.
- Strings and staples: For ease of use and extraction, many teabags have strings, attached at times with staples at one end and affixed to a paper “handle” at the other.
- Teabags: The bags themselves, while convenient for managing serving sizes, are another source of waste.
These practices can truly damage the credibility of an eco-conscious brand simply because too much waste is generated and too few materials are sustainable. But much of what manufacturers are trying to accomplish—tea provided at peak of quality and in a convenient, earth-friendly format—can be delivered in flexible packaging.
- Stand-up pouches protect delicate teas from losing their volatile oils. They are convenient for the consumer, easy to dispense from, and feature zippers to maintain freshness longer. Compostable materials add to the benefits, as the package can be discarded responsibly.
- Biodegradable/compostable plant-based plastics are a better choice for individually wrapping teabags, and are an excellent solution for whole leaf tea selections.
- Biodegradable paper-based tea bags (without staples) can be discarded in their entirety into the compost pile.
Your customers will love curling up with a good book and a relaxing cup of tea knowing that they’re also reducing environmental impact. To get started with your tea packaging solution, give us a call or contact us!