yorkshire tea

The supplier recently switched from an oil-based plastic sealant to a plant-based alternative

A fault with Yorkshire Gold’s new sustainable teabags is limited to a “small proportion” of the product, brand owner Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate has insisted.

The supplier, which recently switched from using an oil-based plastic as a sealant for Yorkshire Gold teabags to a plant-based alternative, was responding to a report in the Sun this morning claiming the new bags were splitting during use, sparking ‘outrage’ among shoppers.

Fans of the brand had taken to social media ‘in droves’ to complain about the tea bags ‘splitting and filling cups with sludge’, the newspaper said.

Taylors told The Grocer the new eco-bag had “performed well in our trials”, but “our customers have let us know that some of them have been splitting while brewing. It’s a small proportion, but we’re disappointed when our customers are disappointed.”

The company had “reviewed the production and quality assurance procedures to reduce the possibility of it happening again” it added.

Taylors revealed in March it was looking into a plant-based, fully biodegradable teabag in response to growing concern about the presence of plastic in the products. The move was part of plans by the business to become carbon neutral by the end of 2019.

Yorkshire Gold had since switched to a sustainable format, while the core Yorkshire Tea was “part way through” the supplier said today. “Our teabags were sealed with an oil-based plastic, and we’re switching to a renewable plant-based material, which is more environmentally-friendly to dispose of.”

The problems affecting a “small proportion” of the new teabags weren’t necessarily down to the sustainable materials being used, it insisted. ”We think there’s more technical work to be done to make sure it’s working properly with all of our teabag machines. So we’re going to keep testing and tweaking until they’re perfect”.