Our Eco-friendly Packaging

Our Eco-friendly Packaging

Our Eco-friendly Packaging


We recently sent out an eco-survey to all of our customers and two things became immediately clear to us… 1. There are some unanswered questions around our packaging , especially some of our plastic looking items, and 2. We don’t shout nearly enough when it comes to our eco-friendly credentials!

 

Reducing waste & giving back to our planet has been one of our founding principles since Day 1, driven heavily by Mike & Krisi (our Founders) themselves, it has always been a part of the DNA of our business. You can read more about this over on our ‘How Eco Friendly is Bird & Blend?’ blog.

 

Please do read on to learn about the eco-credentials of each of our packaging components / eco products. You will see that we have noted not only the composition of the packaging itself but also the impact the manufacturing of these items has on our planet, which is really important too!:


Plastic Free Tea Bags

Eco-friendly Gift Cartons

The big one - our tea bags are 100% plastic-free, 100% natural and 100% compostable*. They are derived from a cornstarch-based material called soilon.  This means you won’t be seeing our tea bags hanging around our seas and landfills. AND, just as importantly for our environment the production of SOILON creates significantly less carbon than plastics too! 

 

Did you know? 96% of tea drunk in the UK is being brewed in tea bags so we have an opportunity here to save (literally) tonnes of waste! There has been a lot of media attention recently surrounding the fact that the vast majority of tea bags on the mass market contain plastic, but our tea bags do not contain plastic and never have. 

 

*Although compostable, your tea bags are better off in your food waste collection bin rather than in your garden compost heap. 

In an industrial composter, with all the right microbes and conditions, they will be gone within a matter of months but at home, this would take nearer to a year. If you are really green-fingered and want to get the right climate in your compost then we recommend you speak to your local gardening experts who will be able to help you get your paws on the right soils needed to assist the breakdown in your box! 

 


In store take away cups, lids and straws (both hot and cold versions)

From what our survey suggests, we haven’t been talking about our takeaway cups and our gift carton packaging nearly enough! Now, why are these so special?

 

Whilst our cold cups may look like conventional plastic, all of our in store consumables are fully compostable and made from a plant-based PLA material, derived from cornstarch. We made the switch to paper straws too.

 

In store sample cups: *Updated October 2018* These are now cardboard & compostable! 

Previously they were plastic but recyclable. We had been trying to find a material that will hold hot samples (most of the compostable options melt!) that are also a suitable small size (as the smallest card options are still three times as much material than we need). We achieved this and made the switch in October 2018. 

 

 

Did you know? Cornstarch is a fully sustainable source, saving almost 80% of the amount of greenhouse gas and using less than half fossil fuel compared to plastic.  

 

Did you also know? We sell reusable bamboo straws and eco-cups in all of our stores & online too, which if you use in store, we will give you a 50p discount for using one (you can bring in other brands too)! 

 

Did you also also know? We have a 'Tea for Trees' project where we've partnered with the World Preservation Foundation to plant a tree for every takeaway cup we sell, with 25,000 planted so far (as of Occtober 2020). Find out more about Tea for Trees here.

Eco-friendly Takeaway cups, straws and gift packs Eco-friendly Takeaway cups, straws and gift packs

Cellophane Inners

Found inside our 15 tea bag & 50g Gift Cartons, our tea sacs and matcha starter kits.

 

The plastic looking inner bag may look plastic but in fact, they are made from renewable wood pulp. Manufactured entirely in the UK, saving on harmful CO2 emissions to transport them to us! We're looking to go one step further by moving these wood pulp inners into a compostable version, which is currently in testing! 

 

*Update January 2019* We have acheved a compostable inner - yay! t is now going to be made from NatureFlex, which is still made from wood pulp but IS 100% compostable! This is produced using sustainable forestry techniques and not only does is it compost, it actually enhances soil quality!

 


Gift Cartons

Eco-friendly Gift Cartons

Now onto our gift cartons! These are arguably our most impressive packaging, with it being plastic free and fully compostable all the way from the cardboard outer layer through to the tea bags inside (as mentioned previously). 

 

If you wanted to purchase the most eco-friendly tea item, the loose leaf version of this is the way to go... as loose leaf uses less materials than the tea bags AND the packaging can be fully composted. 


Ziplock Pouches

Used for our 20g sample, 50g pouch, 150g refill, 40 parcels, 100 parcels & 300g stash sizes.

 

These are our current challenge and one of only two items of our packaging that is not either made from recyclable materials or recyclable themselves. 

 

Whilst there are compostable pouch options out there, every option we have tested so far has had a shelf life that is nowhere near the two years we need it to be to keep our tea fresh or the food-safe inner coating is compromised.

 

At the beginning of 2020 we pledged to get these to be recyclable or compostable by the end of the year. We have been working very hard on this and are getting very close. You can read about our efforts with this over on our 'How Eco Friendly is Bird & Blend' post. 

 


Single Serve Tea Bags

Eco-friendly Single Serve Tea Bags

The other of our two items of our packaging that is not either made from recyclable materials or recyclable themselves. 

 

We have the same issue here as the ziplock pouches - although compostable materials are out there, every option we have tested so far has had a shelf life that is nowhere near the two years we need it to be to keep our tea fresh or the food-safe inner coating is compromised.

 

At the beginning of 2020 we pledged to get these to be recyclable or compostable by the end of the year. We have been working very hard on this and are getting very close. You can read about our efforts with this over on our 'How Eco Friendly is Bird & Blend' post. 

 


Other

Our paper bags, gift boxes and gift wrap are all fully compostable card/paper. Our till/ receipt rolls are made from recycled paper but we are phasing these out, so none of our new stores have printers, all receipts are digital. The rolls are purchased from a supplier who works with trees for life and are BPA free. 

 

We also have the following going on, which you can read more about over on our 'How Eco Friendly is Bird & Blend' blog: 

 

We use wood for as much of our shop fits as possible and always have done.  As far as practical this is recycled (i.e. most of our staff shelves are recycled).

 

We’ve been making efforts recently to reduce air frieght as far as possible. As well as doing it ourselves, we’re working with suppliers to get them to reduce theirs.

 

We use green electricity in all of our stores, warehouse & office units and we offset any flights we have to make for work, to ensure we are doing as much as possible towards reducing carbon emissions. 

 

- Across all of our stores, our office and warehouses we recycle as much of our waste as we possibly can. This means our stores have dedicated food waste / compost bins where all the tea leaves and compostable cups go into.

 

- Our stores also send as many of our cardboard boxes / bulk tea bags back to our warehouses to be re-used up to 4 times (or until they are no longer sturdy enough) to save on waste.

 

- All of our cardboard in our warehouse is put through a shredder and re-used as packaging for our online orders.

 

- We have various refill rewards for bringing in your own containers to fill and using eco cups for takeaway drinks

 

- We have a 'Tea for Trees' project where we've partnered with the World Preservation Foundation to plant a tree for every takeaway cup we sell, as well as increasing our reward to you for using your own cup - to a whopping 50p off! Find out more about Tea for Trees here.


Our Eco Products...

We reward you when you bring in your tea tins for refill or your own cups from home (including our huski cups!). When you do one of these things, we give you 10% off your tea or drink! So, you can save money whilst saving the environment! What's not to love?! Check out our other eco items below...


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