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by Esther Kungu-Cooper July 21, 2020

This week we are starting a packaging free weighing out service for visitors to our tea shop in Edinburgh.  Our 20 best selling teas will be available weighed out for you to refill your own container, helping to reduce plastic waste.  What's more, we will be giving a £1 off the total price of each tea purchased packaging free (minimum purchase of 50g for the discount).  For Covid-19 hygiene reasons we will be using simple paper bags to start with but we hope to be able to weigh direct into your containers in the future.

It has always been one of our ongoing business goals to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly at PekoeTea.  We started our plastic free journey in 2017 with the introduction of our aluminium tea caddies that are reusable, infinitely recycle-able and made in the UK.  We use Natureflex for the inner bag and are currently in the process of eliminating single use plastic from our refill range. 

At PekoeTea, we have been discussing the idea of a weighed out service for a long time.  We were held back because there was a lot of logistics to organise, we are a small team and I was on maternity leave last-year.  On my return to work in January our focus was running our events in-store and sadly the project was on hold.  I was reminded of the importance of contributing more to the global effort to reduce waste when I attended an International Women's Day event organised by Edinburgh Business Gateway.  The theme of the event was sustainability and I listened to some fantastic women talk about their businesses and how they were all working towards a greener economy.   I found the whole event really inspirational and I thought as a business we could do more, so we decided to revisit the packaging-free idea that Jon and I had been discussing on and off for the past couple of years.  However this was back in March and the lockdown meant we were delayed again.

We still have a long way to go before we can be completely plastic free and it's not always as easy as you would think.  There is a lot of pressure on small business to lead the way and there is too many businesses that simply green wash without going into the detail.  Packaging options that are better for the environment, tend to have a premium cost and not everyone wants to pay more for their goods.  If we are to make a real difference we should all be working together and sharing ideas, like Volvo when they invented the seatbelt, but in a difficult economy this isn't always possible.

So it's been a bit of a Journey for us towards packaging free.  However it is a nice coincidence that we can now launch the weighed out option during plastic free July.  This is just another part of our ongoing plan to be more sustainable in the future and adds to our circular economy scheme that we have been running for the past year.




Esther Kungu-Cooper
Esther Kungu-Cooper

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