by Emeric Harney February 17, 2021 1 min read 33 Comments

Last year at this time, we had scheduled Japanese technicians to come over and adjust our machines so that they could utilize a compostable sugarcane material. Previous test trials of the material caused issues where the material would tear, the twine wouldn't connect etc. 


We all have seen the movie by now.


Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent them from coming over, however, there is some hope that will change in the coming months. Fortunately, we have received the sugar cane material in our warehouse and we are ready to start the switch. Since it is still unknown when the Japanese technicians will be able to travel here, we aren't able to provide a concrete date of when it will happen. When they are able to, production will gradually begin to transition to the compostable sachets. 


Also, our tea business has been robust as all of you are drinking increasing amounts of tea from your homes. Because of that, we realized we needed to increase our production capacity. We have purchased three new machines, and as opposed to our existing machines, they will be ready to use compostable sugarcane from Day 1. 


Everyone wishes that we had already changed over to sugarcane, however at this stage of the pandemic, there are many things we all wish were different. 


We will get there, and we thank you for your patience. 

** Note: The material is 100% PLA (sugar cane is used to make the PLA but no sugar exist as residue in final PLA mesh.) **

Emeric Harney
Emeric Harney


33 Responses

Suzanne Pool
Suzanne Pool

April 08, 2021

I am pleased to see that you are working towards compostable materials for your tea bags, but I would like to hear more about alternatives for the tins, which are not recyclable. Why not move towards paper or (possibly glass for gift items) for all containers? Thanks for moving towards a better environment.

Susan
Susan

March 02, 2021

Love your teas, so far. I am a new customer, I bought 1 lb of loose Irish Breakfast, and your Teabag and Honey sampler. I LOVE Paris. The Hot Cinnamon Spice, when sweetened, tastes just like Atomic Fireball candy. The sugarcane issue with diabetics, should not be a problem, though. I am a pharmacist, and there would be negligible amount of sugar in a sachet that should not affect blood levels of glucose. You could test it and place it on the label. Thanks again for the great products.

Patricia Fideldy
Patricia Fideldy

March 02, 2021

Let’s hear it for serendipity! As I was opening this email, I was thinking about finding out about compostable tea bags and there was your update. Thank you for that.

Kathy G
Kathy G

March 02, 2021

Thank you for your commitment to a more sustainable environment. My family loves your teas and even more with the future compostable bags.

Mary Able
Mary Able

March 02, 2021

Following one of the comments above re refills for your tins, I, too, would prefer to refill my existing tins rather than putting them in metal recycling. Would you consider putting the loose teas in a small paper bag? This would make a smaller carbon footprint than a plastic bag, for example. Thank you for considering these suggestions.

Aila Roth
Aila Roth

March 02, 2021

I just received a bag of the Chill CBD sachets and they are not in nylon bags. Until this posting I was under the impression that your sachets were silk. Very happy to hear you will be moving away from plastics and also relieved that almost all of my tea is purchased in loose form😬

Connie
Connie

March 02, 2021

Thanks for updating us! I appreciate Harney’s efforts to green the sachets. I’ve purchased a variety of teas from Harney, to date all loose leaf in the reusable tins. I compost as much as possible and avoid packaging where I can. Please let us know when the Japanese techs do make it over and you’re able to switch fully over to the new sugarcane sachets! I’ll be looking forward to ordering some of the tagalong tins with the new sugarcane sachets at that time.

Jodie Wellskopf
Jodie Wellskopf

March 02, 2021

I am a new customer. I am so impressed with your company and your tea!! After ordering several varieties one arrived in nylon sachets. I emailed about my concerns and preference for paper and was told the tea I had ordered was available in paper bags. That made me happy and I said next time I would order it that way. To my surprise and joy a box of paper bags in that flavor arrived several days later at no cost to me. Harney want above and beyond to accommodate my preference to avoid nylon/plastic sachets. I will gift the sachets to a friend who I’m sure will also fall in love with your wonderful tea! I’ve tried five different varieties of your tea each one Fantastic!!
Thank you for outstanding service and excellent quality. You have won me over!!
♥️🙏🏻 Jodie

Yvonne Gordon
Yvonne Gordon

March 02, 2021

It has been such a treat every tea I have tried from Harney and sons and WOW, was a great gift for family and friends. I feel like I have discovered wonderful new gifts to share with and I am sure they also will become customers. With many thanks to Harney & Sons. Yvonne Gordon

Martha Kimura
Martha Kimura

March 02, 2021

Thank you so much for your update!! Your tea has been a constant comfort in the past year and I’m so glad that you are enhancing your product to help the environment!!

Sooboo
Sooboo

March 02, 2021

Here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I’m enjoying your Chocolate Tea!🎶🎶🎶 Your steps to a compostable material I’m also giving you the thumbs up. 🍪☕🍪🍪🍪

MizJ
MizJ

March 02, 2021

Yay! The silken sachets are lovely, but composting is even better

lori s.
lori s.

March 02, 2021

I’m so glad to read you will be replacing the nylon sachets! I avoid buying tea bags/sachets because I don’t want to ingest microplastics with my tea or add them to the waste stream. I hope that the sugarcane material will be completely free of plastics. Thank you for making this switch!

Michelle Villasenor
Michelle Villasenor

March 02, 2021

Thank you for the update! I usually use loose tea but when at work or traveling, tea bags are so convenient. But I refused to purchase the sachets due to they were not biodegradable.
Can’t wait – thanks for being a good steward.👏

Kristi
Kristi

March 02, 2021

Since I am highly allergic to sugar, and I love the sachets, do I need to switch to bags?

Gale Fillinger
Gale Fillinger

February 23, 2021

Thanks for the hard work AND SUPPYING US WITH SUCH FINE PRODUCTS.

Serina
Serina

March 02, 2021

I absolutely love the effort and commitment to becoming more sustainable by using compostable materials. I’m so happy that Harney & Sons has AMAZING tea and business ethics. Understandably, the pandemic has delayed some of these improvements, BUT! It is heartening to see them still try to make improvements in the meantime.

Elena Van Bruggen
Elena Van Bruggen

February 23, 2021

Yay! Thanks for the update. The waiting might be difficult but the change is exciting!

Sherry A Dickens
Sherry A Dickens

February 23, 2021

Thank you for the update… and for the continued efforts!

Kathy
Kathy

February 23, 2021

Thank you for the update. However, will using the sugarcane material add any sugar to the brewed tea? Since people with diabetes, who cannot have sugar, this could be an issue. Just wondering. Thank you.

Audra
Audra

February 23, 2021

I look forward to trying them when they are ready.

Michele Obrien
Michele Obrien

February 23, 2021

I find it ridiculous that during such a catastrophic time such as this that people are whining about tea bag materials! I’m just glad you are still in business!! I couldnt stand it if I didnt have your Paris tea. It’s my favorite and I dont care what bag it’s in! Just hang in there and keep making great tea!!! Love you all- stay healthy!

Deborah Fisher
Deborah Fisher

February 23, 2021

I just love your teas. One of my favorites is rose scented. Is there any hope that you might consider making a decaf rose scented? I think it would be a delightful bedtime choice – fragrant, calming and soothing.

David Philpot
David Philpot

February 23, 2021

So glad to hear you are doing this. Good for Harney and Sons!

Deborah Fisher
Deborah Fisher

February 23, 2021

I am glad to see you are making the switch to compostable teabags. I almost always brew from loose tea, but bags are convenient at times. On another topic, I would love for Harney & Sons to consider selling 4 oz. loose tea refills for the tins. I have almost 50 different types of your teas in tins, and have them all displayed on my wall so I can relish is my decision of what to brew each time. In the interest of being environmentally considerate, I do not want to accumulate dozens of extra tins, but would like just enough tea for refills. I do, of course, order several of them by the pound for my favorites that I drink regularly. There are many others though, since I do have such huge variety, that I do not drink in sufficient quantities to use a full pound in a timely manner.

Lisa
Lisa

February 23, 2021

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to make the switch to compostable sachets. It means a lot to many of us.

Cassie
Cassie

February 23, 2021

That is great to hear! I didn’t know you were planning the transition already. Hopefully the covid situation improves soon with the vaccines.

Beverly B.
Beverly B.

February 23, 2021

Hello,
I am very pleased to learn that you are planning to switch to fully compostable tea bags. Will you be selling empty bags for use with loose-leaf tea? I am interested in both empty and full sachets.
I am a new customer enjoying cups of tea from a selection of what you offer for the first time. Your teas are consistently so, so GOOD! Delicious and refreshing.
Thank you for making such terrific teas.
Sincerely,
Beverly B.

Jo-Ann Augulis
Jo-Ann Augulis

February 23, 2021

Thank you very much for the information. As a diabetic I can’t use sugarcane, will all your sachets be of that material? If so, I won’t be able to use the teas I’ve come to love.

Also, I would like to ask is you can possibly make your strings a bit longer, I can’t use a tall mug without losing my teabag into it. Thank you for making such great tea, it is very much appreciated!

Sarah Greenlee
Sarah Greenlee

February 23, 2021

This is wonderful news! I am excited for you all to begin using the compostable bags. I’ve switched to loose leaf tea since I’ve been working from home, but as I transition back to the office, I’ll be changing back to tea bags! I don’t love the plastic in the nylon bags, so I appreciate that Harney is switching to sugarcane. Thank you for valuing your customer’s interests.

Julia Ellison
Julia Ellison

February 23, 2021

I love, love, love y’all’s tea. I compost anyway but look forward to the new bags.

Tracy
Tracy

February 23, 2021

One of the best days of my life was when a friend gave me a Harney and Sons Tea catalog – changed my life forever in the best way possible! Thanks!

Mary Grace Pennella
Mary Grace Pennella

February 23, 2021

Thanks for the update. Is this why I was unable to purchase my fav….Royal English Breakfast on Monday’s sale? Thanks too for caring for the earth in your company!

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