PG Tips launch eco-friendly tea bags, while single-use plastic use rises

Stephan ShakespeareCEO and Co-Founder
July 15, 2020, 9:24 AM UTC

At the end of 2019 single-use plastic reduction and sustainable packaging was high on the agenda of most businesses. Unfortunately, many sustainable packaging and refill schemes have been paused for reassessment as the coronavirus pandemic makes hygiene more important than ever.

However, one brand which has pushed ahead with its sustainable product launch is Unilever’s PG Tips and their new biodegradable plant-based bags made from corn starch. The bags will be used across its entire range after a limited debut two years ago, while the outer plastic wrap which had already been ditched for certain sized boxes will be removed from all boxes by 2021. This would make PG Tips the first major tea brand to remove all plastic from its teabags, and have no plastic footprint by next year.

PG Tips cited the move as a response to more consumers actively looking for sustainable products, a sentiment that is backed up by YouGov Profiles data. Over half of British consumers say they don’t mind paying more for products that are good for the environment (56%) while more than eight in ten always make an effort to recycle (88%).

Additionally, just under a quarter of those who drink breakfast tea say that they make an effort to buy more products made from recycled materials (24%).

Since the changes were announced PG Tips’ Quality scores (a net measure of whether consumers think the brand represents good or poor quality) have grown by 3.9 points. Similarly Consideration scores (whether someone would consider purchasing from the brand in future) also increased 2.2 points.

Among Brits who say that they don’t mind paying more for products that are better for the environment and those who try to buy only from companies who are socially and environmentally responsible, Consideration scores rose by 7.7 points indicating the launch resonated much more among this group.

This launch has not only made environmentally conscious consumers more likely to purchase from PG Tips, but it has also increased the likelihood that these shoppers will recommend PG Tips to friends and family, helping to increase the brand’s customer base.

Recommend scores among Britons rose by 4.3 points in the week following the launch while scores increased by 7 points among more environmentally aware consumers.

Image: Getty

This article previously appeared in City A.M.