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Waitrose Duchy teabags now fully compostable

Waitrose has launched an own brand fully certified compostable teabag, becoming the latest retailer to assure tea drinkers of a more environmentally friendly cuppa. All teabags… View Article

FOOD AND DRINK NEWS UK

Waitrose Duchy teabags now fully compostable

Waitrose has launched an own brand fully certified compostable teabag, becoming the latest retailer to assure tea drinkers of a more environmentally friendly cuppa.

All teabags sold in its Duchy range are now accredited with a TUV OK Compost Home Certification, which means they can now be disposed of directly into a home compost bin or heap.

With an estimated 100 million teabags used in the UK every day, according to The UK Tea & Infusions Association, supermarkets and manufacturers have been racing to develop fully biodegradable teabags.

Waitrose has also reduced the ink coverage used on the teabag labels, ensuring they can break down more effectively.

“The reality is that our customers want to make whatever changes they can to ensure they’re shopping, eating and drinking more sustainably,” said Christina Capellaro, Waitrose packaging development manager.

“By securing accreditation for products such as our Duchy home compostable teabags, we’re reassuring our customers that by making these little changes to their shopping habits, they can reduce their impact on the environment.”

The move could prevent an estimated 4.5 million tea bags from going into landfill within the first year, Waitrose said. However, the retailer will continue to sell its existing stock of Duchy teabags in their original packaging, which does not specify they are compostable.

Daphna Nissenbaum, TIPA Co-Founder and CEO, said: “We very much welcome Waitrose’s recent announcements on moving their tea bags to compostable packaging.

“This represents a very important initial step in acknowledging the role of compostable packaging as supporting the removal of hard-to-recycle packaging and replacing those with organically recyclable materials that integrate with food waste collection and treatment systems.

“This makes a great example of how to turn an old fashioned and polluting non-recyclable plastic package into a package that can turn into nourishing composted to soil while leaving zero waste behind

“Now is the time to move to multiple other application segments that are still being packaged in non-recyclable plastic packaging such as snack food packaging, bakery etc, and move them to the new world of sustainable compostable packaging”

In October 2022, supermarket giant Asda made a major change to its own brand tea bags by introducing plant-based packaging. According to Asda, the move enabled the 550 million tea bags it sells each year to be disposed of in kerbside food waste bins.

Unilever-owned PG Tips first introduced plastic-free teabags on a limited range in 2018. In September 2021, the fmcg giant removed all outer packaging from their fully biodegradable range.

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