ethics and sustainability
do your tea temples contain plastic?
No way- and they never have! Our tea temples are made from corn starch, the tags on the end of the string are made from paper, and everything is heat sealed together - we never use glues. The tea temples are 100% biodegradable and commercially compostable but we do not recommend that you attempt to compost them in your garden – they need more heat and micro-organisms than your home compost will be able to deliver. Learn more here.
As for the rest of our packaging: the inner bag inside our packs looks like plastic but is actually made from a material called Natureflex (wood pulp!). Our outer packs are FSC certified paper board, printed with vegetable ink, and are totally recyclable.
I have a corn allergy - does this mean I can't drink teapigs?
While the material for our tea temples is derived from corn starch, the intense process it goes through means that it’s highly unlikely any traces of corn is left within our products. However we can't guarantee that all traces have been removed so recommend talking to your doctor about your allergy before you decide to drink teapigs. Alternatively take a look at our loose leaf teas here.
are there microplastics in your tea temples?
In short, no! Our tea temples aren’t made from nylon. They are made from corn starch and are 100% biodegradable and compostable with your local commercial composting facility. They are certified plastic-free along with all the packaging in our range of tea temples – even the clear inner bag that looks like plastic.
why can’t I compost your temples in my garden?
Our tea temples are fully derived from plants (corn starch!) so they are fully biodegradable and compostable, but they require a higher level of heat, water, oxygen and micro-organisms to fully break down than your home compost can provide. It’s best to take them to your local municipal composting facility or put them in your brown bin for collection if your area has compost pick-up that way it will be broken down into natural elements within 12 weeks.
will the tea temple/natureflex fully breakdown?
Yes! Both our tea temple and our NatureFlex bag are EN13432 certified. This means that at least 90% of the material will break down into water, CO2, inorganics, and biomass in 6 months at a temperature of 136.4 degrees F (i.e. under industrial composting conditions).
what are our cartons made from? what is FSC packaging?
The outer cartons of our 15s, 50s, and matcha tins are made from FSC certified paper. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. They are an incredible organization who only source wood for production from forests that are sustainably managed. By using their packaging paper, we know that the forests it comes from will be protected and conserved for generations to come.
The ink we use to print on our cartons is vegetable-based, so you’re covered on all fronts- just don’t try to eat it.
To find out more about the fantastic work the FSC does in helping to preserve woodland worldwide, check out their website here.
what is Natureflex?
The clear inner bag that keeps your tea temples fresh is made from a wonder-material called Natureflex. The geniuses at Futamura (not the TV show) have figured out how to convert renewable wood pulp into airtight packaging, which means that the clear inner bag which keeps your delicious tea fresh is both biodegradable and compostable! Again, as with our tea temples, it will take a while for them to degrade in your garden, so we suggest popping them in with your food waste to be processed by your local composting facility.
To find out more about Natureflex, check out Futurama’s website here.
why aren't all your teas organic?
We select our teas based on quality and therefore taste – only the best will do. Whilst we would love to be 100% organic not all organic teas meet our quality standards. Some of the teapigs range is organic but at the moment not all our quality standards can be met through organically sourced teas. However, the teas we select are always 100% natural.
are teapigs tea fairtrade?
The best quality teas aren't necessarily fair trade certified. But it is important to us to trade fairly. We pay a premium price for our teas and we source exclusively from quality tea estates that have a sustainable business model. In addition, we’re members of the Ethical Tea Partnership, our everyday brew (or english breakfast) is 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified and we have our own ethical practice that gives back to tea growing communities (we’re really proud of it!).
are your teas free of GMOs/ contain GM corn?
Our little tea temples go through quite a process! They’re made from a material called Soilon, which is poly-lactic acid (doesn’t sound very friendly but it is essentially a material that resembles nylon but is made by fermenting corn starch). Rest assured, our products are considered non-GMO under EU regulations. If they weren’t, we’d have to let you know on the label.