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How Much Plastic Waste Will We Save?

English Breakfast sealed teabag from Coop Tea

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How much plastic waste will we save this year?

Introduction

We’ve written quite frequently about our biodegradable tea bags on this blog. At almost every stage of their development, we shared our progress and some behind the scenes insight around the development of our CoopTea. 

As we start the new year, we have a good prediction about how many cups of CoopTea are going to be brewed this year, and with that we can start to look at how much plastic waste has been avoided through the creation of the Soilon mesh tea bags. 

Microplastics are scarcely talked about when it comes to tea bags, although increasingly people are becoming aware of the danger that they pose. Many teas now use silken bags instead of paper. When the bags are steeped in hot water, they release billions of microplastic particles into the mug, each one the size of a grain of pollen. One study showed that one cup from a single tea bag could contain 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles. 

Before we get into the calculations, perhaps you would like to read about our Soilon Mesh tea bags in more detail, or have a read of our other blogs which talk about the development process. 

The Calculations

We’ve been blown away by the support received since the launch of CoopTea™. We have joined forces with The Food Hub in Belgium, a cooperative distributing the tea around north west Europe and serving it in their market stores. It is being distributed by Glasgow’s Green City Coop, and in all of the cafes our cooperative services here in England and Wales. 

By August, we estimate that over 120,500 CoopTea bags will have been brewed and drunk across Great Britain and Europe. Not bad going for their first 9 months! 

So how much plastic waste will this save? 

A standard tea bag contains around 0.04g of plastic. This is usually used to heat seal the bag, but it’s also a cheaper material to produce with and is favoured by large companies due to the cost saving. By comparison, our tea bags contain exactly 0.00g of plastic. 

If we multiply the predicted number of bags drunk (125,000) by the total amount of plastic in a standard bag (0.04g), we arrive at a total plastic saving of 4820g since August 2020. 

This is a conservative estimate, as each box is entirely recyclable and wrapped in a biodegradable shrink wrap (compared to the normal plastic cellophane). With that factored in, it starts to look more like a saving of 10,000g since August

A Statement of Intent

This year, we are renewing our commitment to environmental care and consideration. This analysis, which looks exclusively at our teabags, is being performed across the range of cooperative products we range, and is at the forefront of all product development work we do in the office (or at home, as the case may be!). 

Our commitment to environmental responsibility is reflected in our decision to produce Soilon™ mesh tea bags. We realise the scarcity of resources and the physical limits of the planet we live on, and prioritise the triple line of ‘people and plant, then profit’. Our commitment to sustainability is highlighted through our deadline of being net carbon neutral by 2030. 

Environmental protection also goes hand in hand with our commitment to the Fairtrade movement. To sell Fairtrade products, farmers have to improve soil and water quality, manage pests, avoid using harmful chemicals, manage waste, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect biodiversity.

Read our blog...

English Breakfast sealed teabag from Coop Tea

How Much Plastic Waste Will We Save?

A standard tea bag contains around 0.04g of plastic. This is usually used to heat seal the bag, but it’s also a cheaper material to produce with and is favoured by large companies due to the cost saving. By comparison, our tea bags contain exactly 0.00g of plastic.

If we multiply the predicted number of bags drunk (125,000) by the total amount of plastic in a standard bag (0.04g), we arrive at a total plastic saving of 4820g since August 2020.

Read More »
biodegradable coop teabag from Soilon mesh for Revolver

What is Soilon Mesh?

This time last year, our team sat around a table adding the finishing touches to our brand new product range – CoopTeaTM. It was a new experience for us all, but one thing was certain from the beginning. These tea bags needed to be biodegradable.

Read More »
Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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The Importance of Biodegradable Materials

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The Importance of Biodegradable Materials

What are they, and why should we celebrate them?

Making sense of the shelves

We have seen an incredible shift in awareness of our environmental impact over the last decade. After the continued success of Fairtrade International in promoting economic stability and well-being for producer communities since 1997, the focus has now widened to the health of our planet.

It can be quite overwhelming to make the right decision when we stare at the supermarket shelves. Brands and certifications compete relentlessly for our attention, each one trying to convince us that they are the ‘greenest’. So much so, in fact, that there is now a term to describe the deceptive marketing spin used by companies to convince us that they are environmentally friendly: ‘greenwashing’.

One product claims to be carbon neutral, another carbon free, and another carbon zero – what’s the difference? It can be tough to cut through all of the names and terms, but we think the best way to prepare yourself is by stripping away the marketing and getting to the core of the issue – how are the products made, and what are they made from?

Why choose biodegradable?

The root of the word, ‘grad’, means “to step or move”, and its prefix, ‘de’, means “downward”. Biodegradable is therefore used to describe anything that can be broken down into basic substances through normal environmental processes.

Plant based products, such as the SoilonTM mesh used to package our teabags, are biodegradable, while mineral substances such as glass and plastic usually aren’t. Perhaps you’ve come across the term ‘single use plastic’? A single use plastic is exactly what you’d expect – a mineral compound that can only be used once before it enters landfill, incapable of being broken down.

Alongside products being recyclable, Fairtrade and Organic, when something is biodegradable it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Even as more and more people are recycling their plastics, a significant proportion still ends up in landfill. Biodegradable products are made from renewable materials which are then broken down into non-toxic components.

Revolver's Environmental Commitments

Our commitment to environmental responsibility is reflected in our decision to produce SoilonTM mesh tea bags and fully biodegradable Nespresso capsules. We realise the scarcity of resources and the physical limits of the planet we live on, and prioritise the triple line of ‘people and planet, then profit’. Our commitment to sustainability is highlighted through our deadline of being net carbon neutral by 2030.

Environmental protection also goes hand in hand with our commitment to the Fairtrade movement. To sell Fairtrade products, farmers have to improve soil and water quality, manage pests, avoid using harmful chemicals, manage waste, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect biodiversity.

Read our blog...

English Breakfast sealed teabag from Coop Tea

How Much Plastic Waste Will We Save?

A standard tea bag contains around 0.04g of plastic. This is usually used to heat seal the bag, but it’s also a cheaper material to produce with and is favoured by large companies due to the cost saving. By comparison, our tea bags contain exactly 0.00g of plastic.

If we multiply the predicted number of bags drunk (125,000) by the total amount of plastic in a standard bag (0.04g), we arrive at a total plastic saving of 4820g since August 2020.

Read More »
biodegradable coop teabag from Soilon mesh for Revolver

What is Soilon Mesh?

This time last year, our team sat around a table adding the finishing touches to our brand new product range – CoopTeaTM. It was a new experience for us all, but one thing was certain from the beginning. These tea bags needed to be biodegradable.

Read More »
Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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What is Soilon Mesh?

biodegradable coop teabag from Soilon mesh for Revolver

Open for Business - Deliveries may take slightly longer than usual - Check here for updates

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What is Soilon Mesh?

The revolutionary material behind the plastic free future of tea

Developing biodegradable teabags

This time last year, our team sat around a table adding the finishing touches to our brand new product range – CoopTea®. It was a new experience for us all, but one thing was certain from the beginning. These tea bags needed to be biodegradable.

It goes without saying that the tea needed to be Fairtrade, organic and GM Free, but the key for our cooperative was to use a plastic free material to make the bags. We made the decision to go with a Soilon® mesh, and haven’t looked back since. Our teabags are now sold across the UK and Europe in 100% recyclable and biodegradable packaging, a statement of intent for the direction we are pioneering as a cooperative.

What is Soilon Mesh?

Soilon® is a trademark registered by Yamanaka Industry, Japan, for a mesh made from poly lactic acid (PLA). PLA is derived from starches by an enzyme and polymerization. The material was chosen for our teabags as it can be readily broken down by microorganisms in the soil, and doesn’t release any microplastics into your mug.

Microplastics are scarcely talked about when it comes to tea bags, although increasingly people are becoming aware of the danger that they pose. Many teas now use silken bags instead of paper. When the bags are steeped in hot water, they release billions of microplastic particles into the mug, each one the size of a grain of pollen. One study showed that one cup from a single tea bag could contain 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles.

“Traditional tea bags are often composed of a plastic compound called polypropene”, says Helen Lloyd. “While the research is still in early stages, polypropylene makes up to 25% of the old school bags, which could potentially harm humans when consumed, as well as releasing microplastics into the soil when disposed of.”

“We looked at this very carefully when the research began coming to light, and it was obvious to us that introducing a safe, environmentally friendly alternative was of a critical importance. As a result, our teabags are composed of a biodegradable plant based compound called Soilon®, meaning when you buy a box of Revolver tea, you can do so without worrying about microplastics.”

Luckily for our customers, CoopTea® is an award winning alternative for people looking to make positive decisions about their consumption. Whether it’s reducing your environmental footprint, supporting the Fairtrade movement or just making sure you’re not drinking microplastics, we’ve got you covered!

Revolver's Environmental Commitments

Our commitment to environmental responsibility is reflected in our decision to produce Soilon® mesh tea bags. We realise the scarcity of resources and the physical limits of the planet we live on, and prioritise the triple line of ‘people and plant, then profit’. Our commitment to sustainability is highlighted through our deadline of being net carbon neutral by 2030.

Environmental protection also goes hand in hand with our commitment to the Fairtrade movement. To sell Fairtrade products, farmers have to improve soil and water quality, manage pests, avoid using harmful chemicals, manage waste, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect biodiversity.

You might like...

Read our blog...

English Breakfast sealed teabag from Coop Tea

How Much Plastic Waste Will We Save?

A standard tea bag contains around 0.04g of plastic. This is usually used to heat seal the bag, but it’s also a cheaper material to produce with and is favoured by large companies due to the cost saving. By comparison, our tea bags contain exactly 0.00g of plastic.

If we multiply the predicted number of bags drunk (125,000) by the total amount of plastic in a standard bag (0.04g), we arrive at a total plastic saving of 4820g since August 2020.

Read More »
biodegradable coop teabag from Soilon mesh for Revolver

What is Soilon Mesh?

This time last year, our team sat around a table adding the finishing touches to our brand new product range – CoopTeaTM. It was a new experience for us all, but one thing was certain from the beginning. These tea bags needed to be biodegradable.

Read More »
Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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Revolver Coop Advent Calendar

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Revolver's Advent Calendar

Revolver's Advent Calendar

This December we are bringing back our digital advent calendar. In the spirit of Christmas and Giving Tuesday, we are running a giveaway every day until Christmas across all of our social media platforms.

The plan is this. Every day, we will post a new offer, giveaway or promotion for everybody to see on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We’ll then ask our followers to share the post, and the next day we will randomly select a winner and get in touch with them about how to claim their reward.

Taking Inspiration from Coops

We are constantly inspired by the people we work with on a day to day basis, be it farmers or cooperative societies. This year, we’ve been especially taken with a project developed by Southern Cooperative. Southern are organising a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’, The regional cooperative supports nearly 50 food banks, and are requesting specific donations each day until the 24th December. As demand for food banks has increased considerably during the pandemic, the donated goods will all help someone in need this winter.  

We have made a donation to this project as part of our ‘Giving Tuesday’ campaign. Helen Lloyd, one of our team members, commented:

 “We understand the importance of a strong community as the route to sustainability and lasting change. The best way for us to support this is by working  with other cooperatives to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

“Of course, there is always more work that can be done. Our ethos is that the concept behind Giving Tuesday needs to be an integral part of the way businesses are organised, and cooperation is a fantastic way to do that all year round. This ethos also influences the work being done on the Revolver World Foundation, which will extend our commitment to our global community.”

Our own digital advent calendar is another way to give back to our community of members and followers, who have been wonderful in their support over the past year.

This is an opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on some of our favourite products, and tell the stories of the cooperatives and individuals who make it all happen.  

It’s certainly going to be a different type of Christmas this year. A lot of people’s plans will have been changed, but we can still find reason to celebrate. We hope that this campaign is a reason to smile this advent, and we’re looking forward to sharing our range with you all.  

Follow our activity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get involved in this year’s advent calendar.

Read our blog...

English Breakfast sealed teabag from Coop Tea

How Much Plastic Waste Will We Save?

A standard tea bag contains around 0.04g of plastic. This is usually used to heat seal the bag, but it’s also a cheaper material to produce with and is favoured by large companies due to the cost saving. By comparison, our tea bags contain exactly 0.00g of plastic.

If we multiply the predicted number of bags drunk (125,000) by the total amount of plastic in a standard bag (0.04g), we arrive at a total plastic saving of 4820g since August 2020.

Read More »
biodegradable coop teabag from Soilon mesh for Revolver

What is Soilon Mesh?

This time last year, our team sat around a table adding the finishing touches to our brand new product range – CoopTeaTM. It was a new experience for us all, but one thing was certain from the beginning. These tea bags needed to be biodegradable.

Read More »
Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

Posted on Leave a comment

The Reverse Advent Calendar

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Giving Tuesday

THE REVERSE ADVENT CALENDAR

Giving Tuesday - What Is It?

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving and celebration in support of the causes and communities across the world, taking place today across the globe. It’s all about giving something back in 2020 and making a positive difference.

People across the world will be contributing to the idea, volunteering their time, money, skills or goods. Developed as a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday holds the world record for the most money raised online for charity in 24 hours, with up to £14.2 million raised last year (equivalent to almost £10,000 a minute!).

Southern Cooperative - The Reverse Advent Calendar

This year, we have decided to contribute to Giving Tuesday by donating to an incredible project pioneered by Southern Cooperative – their ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’. The regional cooperative supports nearly 50 food banks, and are requesting specific donations each day until the 24th December. As demand for food banks has increased considerably during the pandemic, the donated goods will all help someone in need this winter.

Holly Bramble is the community and campaign co-ordinator at Southern Co-op:

“We want to help as many families as possible so have launched this fun and affordable way for customers, colleagues members to get involved. A few weeks ago we launched a new funding pot, Feed a Family Fund, for local food banks to get small grants to help them cover the costs of essentials such as replacement equipment. We know that not everyone can afford to donate money so this is another way people can help local families and individuals who have fallen on hard times.”

At Revolver, we have joined forces with Southern Cooperative to contribute to their Reverse Advent Calendars with a donation of two cases of our teabags and coffee bags. Helen Lloyd, Revolver Cooperative, said:

“We understand the importance of a strong community as the route to sustainability and lasting change. The best way for us to support this is by working with other cooperatives to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

“Of course, there is always more work that can be done. Our ethos is that the concept behind Giving Tuesday needs to be an integral part of the way businesses are organised, and cooperation is a fantastic way to do that all year round. This ethos also influences the work being done on the Revolver World Foundation, which will extend our commitment to our global community.”

If you are in the southern region, or would like to make a donation, click here for a list of participating food bank collection points.

Read our blog...

English Breakfast sealed teabag from Coop Tea

How Much Plastic Waste Will We Save?

A standard tea bag contains around 0.04g of plastic. This is usually used to heat seal the bag, but it’s also a cheaper material to produce with and is favoured by large companies due to the cost saving. By comparison, our tea bags contain exactly 0.00g of plastic.

If we multiply the predicted number of bags drunk (125,000) by the total amount of plastic in a standard bag (0.04g), we arrive at a total plastic saving of 4820g since August 2020.

Read More »
biodegradable coop teabag from Soilon mesh for Revolver

What is Soilon Mesh?

This time last year, our team sat around a table adding the finishing touches to our brand new product range – CoopTeaTM. It was a new experience for us all, but one thing was certain from the beginning. These tea bags needed to be biodegradable.

Read More »
Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

Posted on Leave a comment

Revolver Join Forces with Greencity Coop

Revolver partner with the Green City Team

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Revolver Join Forces With Greencity Coop Wholesalers

Revolver partner with the Green City Team

Revolver are launching a large range of tea and coffee with cooperative wholesalers Green City. Amongst other products, Green City are taking on Revolver’s Fairtrade, Organic and biodegradable tea bags, a range of Fairtrade and Organic coffees and Famous Blue Mountain coffee bags. Director Steve Gill said:

“It’s wonderful that we have been able to partner with Green City to expand our range of tea and coffee into Scotland and the North East. Cooperation is at the heart of what we do, so it’s important to us that we are able to work with organisations like Green City who share our values and ethics.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Revolver to showcase some of the best Fairtrade, Organic and Cooperative products our movement has to offer. It’s a testament to the work done by all the members of our cooperative, and another step in the right direction.”

Green City are a wholesaler of fine food and drink, based in Glasgow’s vibrant east end. They operate as a workers co-operative, democratically run by their 54 members, championing co-operative working as a successful alternative business model. Their range is entirely suitable for vegetarians and none of their range is tested on animals.

The announcement comes at an exciting time for Revolver, who have also partnered with Belgian cooperators ‘The Food Hub’ as well as launching a range of coffee in Central England’s flagship new store.

The recent expansion also comes in light of the Queen’s Honour received by Revolver’s CEO, Paul Birch, for his commitment to and work in Fairtrade. Paul has dedicated the last ten years to the Fairtrade® movement by sitting on numerous boards and by developing Fair Trade commodities under the Revolver World Cooperative brand for sale in Co Op stores.

Paul’s latest work is centred around the Revolver World Foundation, a charitable organisation which directly supports producer communities:

“Our cooperative sources 97% of all its products under Fairtrade agreements, but we want to go beyond Fairtrade in terms of our outreach to communities. For this reason, we have created the Revolver World Foundation. In partnership with like-minded cooperative societies we are looking to make positive social change in these rural communities, predominantly in Latin America, Africa and Indonesia.”

You can read the full story here.

If you’re interested in joining or working with our cooperative, please contact our office on 01902 345345. For commercial enquiries, please email enquiries@revolver.coop

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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Revolver Partners With Belgian Coop ‘The Food Hub’

The Food Hub Cooperative stocking Revolver World coffee

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Revolver Partners With Belgian Coop 'The Food Hub'

The Food Hub Cooperative stocking Revolver World coffee

Revolver have announced the launch of an exciting new partnership with Belgian cooperative wholesalers ‘The Food Hub’.

The Food Hub initially started as a cooperative with only four partners, which has now grown to over 80 producers. Like Revolver’s model, they have created a multi stakeholder cooperative – a coop that’s governed by two or more stakeholder groups, working with organic suppliers across Belgium and Europe.

Their philosophy is simple: they offer an extensive selection of high quality organic products, creating a resilient, transparent and economically sustainable food chain in Belgium. This is done by offering a dynamic food economy based on the principles of fair trade and cooperation.

The partnership comes at an exciting time for Revolver, who are keen to maintain their relationships with European organisations post-Brexit. George Smith, Assistant Operations Manager at Revolver, said:

This partnership is a perfect example of the work we can do when we cooperate. Revolver and The Food Hub share a great number of values, through environmental, social and economic goals. It’s fantastic that we are able to join forces and provide our fairtrade and organic tea and coffee to the Belgian market.”

“One of the things that we’re most excited about are the increasing opportunities for us to work with other cooperatives. In the last few weeks alone we’ve been able to join with Central England Coop, Green City Cooperative (Scotland) and now The Food Hub in Leuven, Belgium. It comes at a time when we can see the importance of a cooperative economy more than ever. Cooperatives are one of the most resilient ways to organise as a business unit, and the shared benefits of these cooperative deals are the way we need to rebuild the post-pandemic economy.”

The partnership will see Revolver supply a large range of Fairtrade and organic tea bags and coffee, including the increasingly popular Honduras coffee.

“For me, seeing the popularity of Honduras is one of the best things we could ask for. As many people know, the farmers who grow the Honduran coffee are members of our coop, so to see people enjoying, ordering and brewing with Honduras is exactly the reason we do what we do.”

The Food Hub will distribute the tea and coffee around Belgium and Europe to cafes and likeminded supermarkets, ensuring a route through the EU remains open for Revolver in a post-Brexit world.

You might like

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

Posted on 1 Comment

Revolver Launches Charitable Foundation

Child receiving Revolver World vaccine

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Revolver launches Revolver World Foundation

Child receiving Revolver World vaccine

Revolver World have announced the launch of a new charitable organisation, the Revolver World Foundation. Our cooperative is proud to have over a decade of contributions to helping communities all around the world through Fairtrade premiums, but this move will see more help going to the people who need it most.

In the areas of the world where we draw upon natural resources such as coffee and tea, producer communities are often remote, rural and impoverished. The world’s finest arabica coffees are grown at altitude in countries close to the tropics, with the farming communities themselves largely organised as cooperatives.

Paul Birch, CEO said: “Our cooperative sources 97% of all its products under Fairtrade agreements, but we want to go beyond Fairtrade in terms of our outreach to communities. For this reason, we have created the Revolver World Foundation. In partnership with like-minded cooperative societies we are looking to make social change in these rural communities, predominantly in Latin America, but also Africa and Indonesia.

We have identified that one way our giving can bring significant rewards is with small interventions in public health. This will be done in the form of funding vaccines which will be for a range of disease prevention across the spectrum of known pathogens.

Nick Mathews, Revolver Foundation Chair added: “the most effective means for us to intervene is to fund the vaccines themselves. To work with medics on the ground to establish the need, and to fund these medics to administer immunisation programmes for the community. The medics themselves may be established already in the community, or in certain cases an NGO such as MSF.”

The vaccines can be for a range of disease prevention, such as Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Cholera, Pneumonia, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Polio, MMR, Meningococcal, Tetanus, Seasonal Flu and Covid-19 (when available).

John Boyle, Chair of Revolver Cooperative said: “We have promised members we would reinvest profit back into farming producers. There is no better way to do this than to invest into the health of their families.”

Revolver World Foundation is organised as a CIO – Charitable Incorporated Organisation (pending) registration with the Charity Commission. For more information, please contact enquires@revolver.coop or phone 01902 345345.

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.