Is Two Leaves and a Bud packaging eco-friendly?

At Two Leaves and a Bud, we are keenly aware that tea lovers are concerned about the environment because we share those concerns! We strive to make our tea and packaging environmentally friendly, despite added costs. 

Two Leaves and a Bud Whole Leaf Tea Sachets

To minimize waste, our teas are packed in a sachet that is certified ASTM D 6400 compostable. The material is made from plants, not petroleum. It will biodegrade into water and CO2 after about one month in a compost-rich with microorganisms at a temperature of 122°F (50°C) and 80 percent humidity. (So home composts likely will not provide the needed environment for the decomposition of these sachets.) This material is safe and non-toxic and doesn’t break down or melt in hot water.

The best way to keep the tea fresh and flavorful is to individually package our sachets. Half of our teas are wrapped in envelopes that are certified compostable, the other half use a material designed to decompose.

Why two different materials? Our teas are packed in two different locations based on where they are sourced in order to reduce transport miles and time from garden to packaging (to keep our tea super fresh), and our packing facilities use different materials for the clear envelopes based on their equipment and resources.

You can identify which teas are packed with which material very easily: Flip over your box of tea. If the tea was packed in Germany, it’s Natureflex. If packed in China, it’s Reverte.

The envelopes made with Natureflex are certified compostable. The renewable raw material used to make these envelopes is non-GMO wood pulp typically sourced from hardwood like eucalyptus from plantations. (The plantations are certified by Forest Stewardship Council® and the PEFC®.) The envelopes will biodegrade in soil, salt water or in an industrial or home compost! The material is food-safe and non-toxic.

The other half of the envelopes are made using Reverte™ — an innovative product line of resin additives used around the world to degrade plastics. Reverte™ is designed to address the terrible problem of plastic bags floating in the sea and harming sea life. This product won’t end up littering the environment, as it will decompose, breaking down completely into CO2, H20, and biomass when the envelopes are exposed to air and natural light. Therefore, it is not designed to degrade in a home compost pile. Reverte™ additives comply with FDA and EC Food Contact regulations and are harmless to humans, animals, and plant life and are non-toxic, leaving no known harmful residues in the soil or waste streams. To learn more about the product visit http://www.reverteplastics.com/.

Paisley Label Teas in Traditional Teabags

For our Paisley teas, the filter paper of the tea bag is made with a wood pulp that has gone through a chlorine-free bleaching process, and its biodegradability is excellent. Without a staple on the tea bag, you can toss the entire thing — bag, string, tag and all — straight into the compost. The only thing you cannot toss in your compost bin is the paper envelopes, which are coated with a polyethylene sealant on the inside. We do this to keep our high-quality tea as fresh as we can because superior taste makes our tea worth drinking. Finally, the tea boxes are coated with a water-based coating so they remain compostable, recyclable and biodegradable.

We realize these are not perfect solutions, but consider them preferable when evaluated against the alternatives, like foil-lined envelopes – which are neither compostable nor recyclable – used by many tea companies. Even though we are a small company and a tiny user of this type of product, we know our choices make an impact, and so do yours!