New & Improved Sachets on the Way!
As we previously reported back in October 2019, we have been working for some time to replace our nylon sachets with greener packaging that is better for the environment and for people. Sadly, COVID-19 threw a viral wrench in our progress.
That’s why we are absolutely thrilled to report that we have three new sachet machines delivered, installed and up and running! Many thanks are owed to one intrepid Japanese salesman who was able to make this possible -- domo arigato gozaimasu! These machines only use Neo Soilon material, which is a trade name for polylactic acid (PLA), a plant-based polymer that is derived from sugarcane fibers. For you science geeks, here’s how it’s made:
- First, the raw natural material, such as sugarcane, undergoes wet milling, where the plant’s starch is isolated and separated.
- Following this extraction, the starch is mixed and heated with enzymes and other chemicals to release dextrose (D-glucose), a type of sugar.
- Then, the dextrose is fermented, producing lactic acid monomers, which polylactic acid is primarily made of (as you might be able to guess from the name).
- The lactic acid can then be processed into PLA material in two ways: by condensing the lactic acid into a lactide and then using a polymerization.
- Then it is spun into a filament, which is woven into the material.
Because the material comes from sugarcane, that means there are no petrochemicals and no genetically modified organisms (non-GMO). Big improvement. Also, since it is fermented, there is no sugar left from that cane, which means it is safe for all including diabetics.
It can be composted, although it does need strict conditions which are usually not found at your home. We will work to make it easy to compost at home. And speaking of composting… any particles that might end inside humans decompose inside the body.
We are accumulating the fabric and will roll it out soon. The machines that used nylon will be converted when we run out of nylon later this year.
This is a solid and exciting improvement from where we have been for the past 20 years. As we continue working toward making these improved sachets easily compostable, a reminder that we do offer loose tea for those who prefer not to use sachets or tea bags. In the meantime, cheers to progress!