We are more than “organic”. For us, organic is both an incentive and a responsibility. We want to think sustainability holistically and integrate it passionately into all the branches of our work. We therefore also make the highest environmental demands of our packaging and do everything we can to avoid plastic as far as possible. Resource-saving production is a matter of course for us; we want to keep our CO2 footprint as low as possible. After all, our vision is to preserve a living, species-rich planet worth living on for our future generations.
But what exactly does environmental compatibility of packaging mean? With the boxes, the answer is simple: All our paper-based outer packaging is made of certified FSC® paper. FSC® stands for Forest Stewardship Council and was founded in 1993 as an independent, non-profit organization as a result of the UN Environment Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Its label is an international certification system for more sustainable forest management: it is awarded to companies that manage their forests and plantations according to ecological and social principles – so that we can preserve all the trees in the long term. This means for our customers that the packaging can be disposed of in waste paper containers with a clear conscience.
Our tea bags are completely biodegradable and can therefore be disposed on the compost: They do not have a metal clip, are bleached with oxygen, free of genetically modified material and plastic-free. The bag itself is made of Manila hemp, also known as Abacá, a type of banana native to the Philippines, whose fiber was originally used to make cords and ropes and today it is used for tea bags. The string of the tea bag is made of biologically certified organic cotton and, the tea tag is made of FSC®-certified paper.
So far, so good. The envelopes, on the other hand, are hot iron – in the truest sense of the word. Our envelopes are also made of FSC®-certified paper, but unfortunately we have to use small quantities of plastic “for heat sealing”. This is very painful for us, but for reasons of quality and hygiene and the current state of technology and research, there is no other option. Even if other tea competitors may claim the opposite, we feel openness and transparency towards our customers. A 100% plastic-free, heat-sealed tea bag outer packaging is currently not available on the market.
The fact is that our essential oils and thus our high quality standards would evaporate if we did not seal the envelopes airtight. Only how? We have spoken with experts from the paper and plastics industry, with scientists and researchers, we have tried and tested – but unfortunately we have not been able to find a solution other than the one we are currently using. On the inside of the envelopes there is a wafer-thin heat-seal coating that contains a so-called barrier material – in the colloquial term “plastic”.
At least, the envelopes can be recycled in the recycling bin and thus used for energy recovery. A small consolation. That’s why we’re still working hard to find a better solution, a compostable and 100% plastic-free material.
We hope and expect that the packaging industry will have launched a bio-innovation on the market by 2025 at the latest. From then on, we anticipate that legislation will demand that plastic may no longer be supplied to end consumers, otherwise penalties will become due. We think this is right and worth supporting. We are therefore striving for our products to be 100 percent plastic-free by 2025 at the latest.