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Clipper Teas develop “world’s first” plastic-free tea bags

Clipper Teas has announced the launch of the world’s first plastic-free tea bags.

The new bags manufactured in their Dorset-based factory will now be made from natural plant-based materials.

Emma Vass, CEO of the Clipper parent company Wessanen UK said: “We believe in making ethical and sustainable choices and want to provide the best products for both our consumers and the world we live in.

“Having worked tirelessly to find a completely natural, non-GM solution, it is fantastic to see the new tea bags now in full production.

“As a brand, Clipper is all about the joy that comes with each and every cup of tea – and we believe the purest joy comes with a clear conscience.”

The plastic-free tea bags will be used throughout Clipper’s range of organic and Fairtrade teas from January 2019 to inform consumers.

The company said the breakthrough was made when it was looking for a way to seal the two layers of its tea bag paper together.

Unbleached filter paper containing polypropylene was the solution to this and provide the heat-seal function.

Clipper had never considered using PLA (polylactic acid) material in the past because it was derived from corn which may be from GM sources.

But recent developments meant there was a new source of PLA which was guaranteed to contain GM material.

The new tea bag is made from natural plant materials – a blend of abaca (A species of banana), plant cellulose fibres and PLA – a bio polymer derived from non-GM plant material that holds the paper together.

The new plastic-free tea bag is biodegradable to industrial standards and best disposed of in the food

waste container provided by local councils.