UK retailer Sainsbury’s has announced plans to introduce a plant-based material for its own-brand tea bags from June 2021.
The tea bags are made of Polylactic acid (PLA), a renewable plant-based material that is industrially compostable, unlike the current oil-based plastic tea bags.
PLA is made from the sugar found in cornstarch, cassava, or sugarcane.
The retailer is testing the new plant-based alternative in its own-brand tea bags.
Director of product, packaging and innovation at Sainsbury’s, Claire Hughes, said, “This extensive rollout of our new tea bags is another example of how we are looking to implement new innovative products that will reduce the impact our business has on the environment.
“Our move towards plant-based tea bags has required significant time and multiple trials to ensure that our customers receive the same great quality tea bag and we look forward to the rollout in stores this year.”
The retailer’s own-brand tea bags are made of 75% natural fibres and 25% oil-based plastic sealing material (polypropylene).
This sealing material ensures that the tea bag remains intact and the tea leaves don’t seep into the cup.
The retailer aims to introduce the new plant-based material in more than 815 million tea bags a year.
It will also remove the outer plastic wrapping from 11 products to eliminate over 5.3 million pieces of plastic a year.
The tea bags can be disposed of in kerbside food or garden waste bins and general household waste bins.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.