Sustainability / Bulk Handling of Tea

Each year the UK tea industry imports around 160,000 tonnes of tea. The vast majority of this tonnage is packed in foil lined paper sacks and each sack typically contains between fifty and fifty six kilos of tea. This method of packing ensures that the quality and freshness of the tea is maintained during its journey from the tea garden to your cup.

The traditional method of moving tea in recent decades has been to build the tea sacks on wooden pallets, but increasingly our concern for the environment, sustainable practices and recycling has encouraged the UK tea industry to look at alternative methods for moving tea. While experiments in India are currently taking place to test the suitability and cost effectiveness of bamboo taking the place of wood in pallet making, extensive tests have found the slip sheet operation to be effective in the areas of handling, cost, sustainability and recycling.

Modest changes to handling are required to be made at both ends of the distribution chain, but the UKTIA task force set up to evaluate the slip sheet method have concluded that the economic and environmental benefits gained, far outweigh any changes required to existing handling practices by pallet.

Requests for additional information should be directed to the UK Tea and Infusions Association.

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