The largest and yet least complex part of our packaging is the box. This is made from FSC®-certified paper. FSC® stands for ‘Forest Stewardship Council®’, an independent, charitable organisation with an international certification system. Organisations with FSC® certification manage their forests and plantations in compliance with social and environmental standards. This means that the wood for our paper is guaranteed not to come from protected rainforests or jungles. Valuable habitats and biodiversity are protected.
The box can therefore easily be recycled as waste paper (don’t forget to fold it down to save space). Used paper is valuable and one of the biggest success stories in recycling. It can be recycled to make newspapers or toilet paper, for example, protecting resources like wood and water.
Teabags are little ‘natural wonders of technology’. Pour boiling water over them, leave them to steep for a few minutes and they will release the wonderful flavour, fragrance and colour of the YOGI TEA® varieties we love so much. Meanwhile, the actual ingredients stay in the bag. The teabag achieves all this using natural, plant-based materials.
The bag itself is made of abaca (Musa textilis) plant fibres, a species of banana native to South East Asia, which is also used in the production of ships’ ropes. Although sometimes known as ‘Manila hemp’ due to its Philippine origins, it does not actually belong to the same family as hemp (Cannabaceae).
The string attached to the teabag is made from certified organic cotton and the label on the other end of the string is made from FSC®-certified paper.
Since the teabag does not contain any metal staples or genetically modified material, chlorine or plastic, it is completely biodegradable. The teabags can be disposed of in the compost or organic waste bin and are therefore returned to the cycle of nature.
At YOGI TEA®, we are constantly on the lookout for new ways to do things better. When it comes to our packaging, this is particularly the case for the envelope containing the teabag. Although the envelopes are made of FSC®-certified paper, we still have to use a tiny amount of plastic to heat-seal them.
We have consulted experts from the paper and plastics industries, as well as scientists and researchers, and we have conducted our own tests. Unfortunately, however, there is currently no 100% plastic-free heat-sealed teabag envelope on the market, even if some other tea manufacturers may like to claim otherwise. It is extremely important to us to maintain honesty and transparency towards our customers, provide consumer protection and ensure product safety, hygiene and the high quality of our teas. There is therefore a wafer-thin heat-seal coating on the inside of the envelope, which contains a barrier material generally known as ‘plastic’.
Why is this barrier so important? A big part of the appeal of YOGI TEA® is the variety of function and flavour on offer. This is partly thanks to the essential oils in the ingredients. Unfortunately, these would evaporate if our envelopes were not sealed to be airtight. That’s why the inside of the envelope needs a heat-seal coating. At the same time, this airtight barrier protects the teabag and its contents from outside influences.
We are continuing to put pressure on packaging specialists to come up with a better solution using compostable and 100% plastic-free materials. Until this happens, please dispose of the envelope with your household or non-recyclable waste. This is generally incinerated and used in energy production.
Keeping our ecological footprint as small as possible has always been close to our hearts. We have already achieved a great deal, particularly in terms of packaging, cutting waste and recycling, and plenty more will change in the future! We are constantly on the lookout for suitable alternatives and packaging solutions to offer enhanced sustainability. These may involve the material used in the packaging, potential weight reduction, environmentally friendly printing processes or packaging production processes that save resources and cut CO2 emissions. Any technological progress made in the packaging industry is gratefully accepted and we constantly invest in sustainability in all areas.
We are hopeful that the packaging industry will have introduced an innovative organic alternative to the teabag envelope by 2025 at the latest. This is the date by which the law provides for a ban on the use of plastic in consumer packaging, subject to financial penalties. We fully support this initiative and we are making every effort to ensure that our products will be 100% plastic free by 2025.
As well as protecting the environment, there are other ways in which we aim to make the most of our packaging. These include an inspirational yoga exercise on every pack, for example, as well as yoga quotes. So, every cup of YOGI TEA® will inspire you to make life better. After all, those who want to do good, should be good to themselves in as many ways as they can. And when it comes to sustainability and environmental protection, this is precisely what can be said about our YOGI TEA® packaging: already pretty good, it will get even better.