LIDL has made a change to its tea bags following on from Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
The move aims to reduce the 800 million tea bags that end up in waste bins and ultimately landfill, each year.
Now, customers will be able to dispose of them in food or green waste bins instead.
The new material will be used across all of Lidl’s own-brand tea range from its Deluxe Fairtrade Assam Tea (£1.09) to its Knightsbridge Gold Blend Tea (£1.19).
The new material being used for the tea bags is a plant-based plastic, polylactic acid (PLA).
Not only does this material ensure the compostability of the tea bags but Lidl is confident that it will not take away any of the “exceptional quality and flavour” that Lidl customers expect from their cuppa.
The move comes after a recent announcement from the discounter that it will be moving to clear caps on its milk range.
Shyam Unarket, head of responsible sourcing and ethical trade at Lidl GB, said: “Those buying tea bags from Lidl are supporting our efforts to reduce single-use plastic going to landfill.
“We understand that even a few small changes to our products can benefit our customers while helping us improve our impact on the planet – one cup at a time.”
Most read in Money
The new tea bags will land in stores over the coming months while existing stock gradually sells through.
Shoppers complained that small bits of tea leaked out of the bags – leading to “dusty” cuppas with horrible dregs at the bottom.
And others complained that the new bags were making a mess in their kitchen.
One unhappy customer wrote on its website: “Ruined! I have bought these tea bags for decades but have switched brands now.
“Since switching to the ‘box only’ no-foil packaging the taste is reduced, there is tea dust everywhere and worst of all there is always a disgusting mulchy residue left at the bottom of the cup composed of the dust presumably.
“I’m all for more ecological packaging but not if it’s at the expense of the product itself being undrinkable. That’s a false economy.”
Tesco responded by saying it had “listened to the feedback from customers” and was working to introduce a “tighter weave” on the tea bags to reduce the amount of tea dust.
Asda also introduced plant-based tea bags late last year.
The change saw new tea bags introduced in Asda’s Gold, Everyday and Decaf boxes, as well as its herbal and low-cost Just Essentials range.
Asda has said that the new tea bags are made from corn starch, which is a natural, plant-based material.
Aldi Specially Selected Infusion tea bags and Co-Op’s own brand 99 tea bags are also fully recyclable.
And Sainsbury’s own brand tea bags are also plastic-free and fully recyclable.
Some major tea brands have too switched their bags with big brands like PG Tips now selling recyclable tea bags.