At Hampstead Tea one of our core values is People & Planet.
We have always made conscious decisions not to follow trends where the packaging or materials used do not fit with our beliefs.
The use of plastics and in particular single-use plastics have deservedly received a lot of coverage showing the devastating impact they are having on our wildlife and in particular our marine life. As a consumer goods company selling 100,000's of packs of our products every year, we need to play a role in supporting change and caring for our planet.
We were the first tea company in the UK to use the stitch method on our tea bags as opposed to using plastic based glues, but we are now going further and with the help of packaging manufacturers seeking environmentally friendly innovation, we are now offering our Loose Leaf Tea pouches in a new material called NatureFlex TM.
It looks and feels like a plastic material...but it most certainly is not. The material is created from renewable wood pulp and reformed to create the bags that you will see in our Loose Leaf Pouches. Why we love this new material?
- GMO Free
- Home Compostable
- Approved for Marine Biodegradation
- Sourced from Sustainably Managed Trees
- Lower Carbon Footprint
There also tends to be a lot of confusion around the terminology used with sustainable packaging, particularly around the differences between biodegradable, industrial compostable and home compostable....here is our quick guide to help clear that up.
This refers to materials that will break down in certain environments and return to natural elements, but can take decades to fully decompose and might never do so if they are not in the right environment. Biodegradable plastics are a good example of this and whilst they might break down faster than normal plastics, they can still stay around for a long time and can be extremely harmful to our wildlife and marine life.
Industrial vs Home Compostable
One term to be wary off is the use of "Compostable" without referring to the type of composting required, as some materials will require specific industrial composting conditions to breakdown into natural elements, and you can't be certain that waste will find its way into the sites that manage this composting. Home compostable materials however will be able to breakdown much quicker and in a more accessible environment such as your own home compost in your garden, you will typically find that these materials will be fully decomposed within a period of 90 days.