Made of PLA, generated from corn starch, the new tea bags are intended to replace the non-renewable oil-based plastic bags


Asda to launch tea bags with plant-based packaging. (Credit: ASDA)

Supermarket chain Asda has announced its decision to replace its older non-renewable oil-based plastic tea bags with plant-based packaging.

The new tea bags are made from Polylactic acid (PLA) which is generated from corn starch and is a natural, plant-based substance, the UK-based retailer said.

The move will help Asda to dispose of 550 million tea bags in kerbside food waste bins a year.

Asda packaging technologist Jon Wells 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 which can make such a difference is a big moment for us.”

Over the following six months, the firm will gradually roll out the new bags across its complete line, from Just Essentials to Extra Special.

Waste and Resources Action Programme (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.”

In April last year, the company launched a new sustainable pouch packaging for its entire chicken range, as part of its efforts to reduce plastic wastage.

Asda has pledged to remove three billion pieces of plastic from own-brand products by 2025.