With the goal of eliminating plastic from its products, the makers of Yorkshire Teas set out to make all of their tea bags biodegradable before the end of 2019 with a version that doesn’t include plastic. However, the initial reception for the new product has been chilly as the bags have been splitting open mid-cup, according to recent reports.
Yorkshire Teas debuted its biodegradable tea bags in June. The company was compelled to modify the contents of their tea bags, replacing the sealing plastic polypropylene with a plant-based material, following a U.K. petition calling for tea manufacturers to stop using the plastic in their products.
Assuring its customers when it announced the change that neither the flavor nor the cost of the tea bags would change, Yorkshire Teas was not prepared for the backlash in recent days. Customers took to social media to air their grievances about the tea bags splitting open and spilling loose tea leaves mid-cup.
Only second to PG Tips as the most popular tea in the U.K., an apologetic Yorkshire Teas has promised to determine what is responsible for the faulty tea bags.
Yorkshire Teas isn’t the only tea company in search of a plastic alternative to seal its teas. Tetley and PG Tips, among others, will soon be unveiling their biodegradable bags to a country notorious for its tea consumption.
Experts are calling the move a necessary one considering that an overwhelming 96% majority of tea drinkers in the U.K. opt for bagged tea over loose tea leaves. Even when consumers compost their used tea bags, they never break down entirely thanks to the polypropylene.
Tea bags aren’t the only everyday products recently under fire for containing plastic. Notably, plastic straws and plastic bags are at the heart of several bans all over the globe on single-use plastics, inspiring researchers the world over to find alternatives to the controversial material.