During the past 12 months, the team at Stir have been undertaking a packaging review, with the ultimate aim of reducing our environmental footprint. We're reaching the end of this extensive research and analysis period, and are excited to reveal our new white bags. Manufactured in New Zealand, these white bags are in the final stages of testing before they will begin the transition period of replacing our imported foil bags.
As we love keeping our tea loving customers updated on what's happening at Stir headquarters, we thought we'd share some information on the considerations we had when selecting tea packaging, and the journey we have been embarked upon during the past year.
Considerations When Selecting Our Loose Leaf Tea Packaging
In 2008, we released the Stir brand. As loose leaf styled tea, we wanted to avoid the use of plastics associated with teabags and other packaging. After extensive research at the time, we selected foil bags as our packaging of choice.
Tea is a hydroscopic product, easily absorbing moisture and odours which destroy both the quality and flavour of tea. A foil bag was chosen because it provided an effective barrier against odours and moisture. As well as being reusable, customers using these foil bags could squeeze any excess air out when resealing the bag, providing as moisture free storage conditions as possible. Then when the bag was empty, it could be refilled or repurposed by the customer.
Things have changed since 2008 though. We wanted to reduce our environmental footprint, and select a product which was locally manufactured and could become a part of the NZ wide soft plastics recycling programme. So, we started our journey to find Stir packaging once more.
Where Are We in Our New Packaging Journey?
Like when we selected the original Stir packaging, we still needed a product which would provide a barrier to maintain the quality of the tea leaf. The packaging material needed to help protect the tea contents against moisture, light and degradation. It must also be made of food safe material, ideally manufactured in New Zealand, and could become a part of the NZ wide soft plastics recycling programme.
We looked at a variety of packaging options which on the surface looked to be highly environmentally friendly such as rice and manila paper bags. The issues were that they could be heavily coated with plastic on the inside, offer a limited or no barrier to the air and not be any friendlier to the earth. Consequently, they weren't suitable options.
We kept investigating and are now in the final stages of testing the NZ manufactured white bags which will replace our previously imported silver foil bags. It is our aim that the white bag tea packaging can become a part of the NZ wide soft plastics recycling programme too.
Over the coming months, you may receive a mixture of our silver and white packaging with your tea order as we use up all the existing stock on hand. We will keep you updated on our progress, and hope you like this new direction as much as we do.
Posted: Thursday 5 December 2019