UK- British supermarket chain Asda has introduced plant-based packaging for its own-brand tea bags as its latest sustainability effort.

The Supermarket says the move will allow 550 million tea bags a year to be disposed of in kerbside food waste bins.

The new tea bags are made from PLA derived from corn starch, which is a natural, plant-based material and will replace the non-renewable oil-based plastic bags which it has previously used.

This will replace the non-renewable oil-based plastic bags which it has previously used across its own brand tea range.

The change will see new bags introduced in Asda’s Gold, Everyday and Decaf boxes, as well as its herbal and low-cost Just Essentials range.

Jon Wells Packaging Technologist at Asda said: “We know our customers want to do all they can to reduce their impact on the environment and we want to make that as easy as possible for them.

“Tea is a staple in most customer’s households so for us to make a change that can make such a difference is a big moment for us.”

Over the next six months, Asda will roll out the tea bags across its entire range, from Just Essentials to Extra Special.

The move by the supermarket chain has been welcomed by non-profit organization Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

WRAP resource management sector specialist Adam Herriott said: “It’s positive to hear of further moves by Asda, a founding member of The UK Plastics Pact, to make innovative moves on their products and tackle plastic waste.

“We must continue to go further and ensure we bring in more changes that benefit shoppers and the environment.”

Through this shift, Asda joins other supermarkets that have already switched to sustainable packaging for their brands.

For instance, Aldi Specially Selected Infusion tea bags and Co-Op’s own brand 99 tea bags are fully recyclable.

Joining the list are Lidl’s pyramid tea bags and Sainsbury’s own brand tea bags that are also plastic free and fully recyclable.

The switch to recyclable packaging is part of Asda’s goal to make all its packaging recyclable by 2025.

The retailer operates a network of supercentres and superstores, as well as convenience-size supermarkets, across the UK.

In August this year, Asda revealed plans to remove ‘best-before’ dates from the packaging of its fresh produce in an effort to minimize domestic food waste.

The retailer will replace these with a code that its store colleagues can use to maintain product quality and freshness.

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