2 petitions

Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Rt Hon Michael Gove

Ask the UK gov. to ban all Teabags containing plastics & other non-biodegradable materials

Every year, the UK consumes more than 60 billion cups of tea, of which, approximately 58 billion are made with tea bags. The average tea bag weighs 1g and whilst 80% is made of biodegradable paper, 20% is produced from non-biodegradable materials including plastics. This means, that every single year, the UK alone releases over 11,500 tons of plastic into the environment via landfill and recycle centres just from tea bags! The plastics from these teabags break down into smaller particles quickly, but do not biodegrade and are being consumed by small organisms. These in turn are eaten by larger animals, and so on and so forth, all the way up the food chain. If you watched the finale to the recent BBC series, Blue Planet II, you will know that young dolphins are dying from what scientists believe is the concentrated level of pollutants in their mothers milk, from the plastics contained within the fish they are eating. The same thing can, and is happening on land and we are at the very top of that food chain as well! PG Tips are the biggest selling bagged tea in the UK, and whilst they have launched a campaign asking customers to recycle their tea bags, they still contain 20% non-biodegradable plastics. Thanks to this petition, and a few others online, stressing the public's opinion on this issue, PG Tips and CoOp have now announced they will be switching to fully reusable, biodegradable teabags by the end of 2018, which is fantastic news! Whilst this is a great step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go. If two leading British tea producers can turn around their teabag production by the end of the year, there's no reason the rest can't do the same with a little more time. This petition asks Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom) to advocate the ban of the sale and manufacture of all non-biodegradable teabags in the UK by the end of 2019. Please sign and share to help show the UK government that we care, and let's help make tea an environmentally friendly enjoyment!

Josh Forwood
21,355 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Mike Coupe, Mike Coupe Sainsbury’s Group Chief Executive, Sainsbury

Sainsbury’s: don’t ditch Fairtrade!

Sainsbury's is the largest retailer of Fairtrade products in the UK. But they’ve decided to drop the Fairtrade Mark from their own-brand tea and replace it with their own 'Fairly Traded' label instead. Sainsbury’s has abandoned Fairtrade certification to set up its own pilot scheme, saying they want to secure their supply chain. ‘Fairly Traded’ sounds a lot like Fairtrade, but it doesn’t have the same gold standards. It is self-run by Sainsbury’s but most importantly it takes control away from tea farmers. The new scheme is untested, unverified and unwanted and the ‘Fairly Traded’ label is likely to mislead customers. I’ve started this petition because we can’t let Sainsbury’s undermine Fairtrade’s incredible impact on the lives of millions of farmers. 'Fairly Traded' is not my cup of tea! Over 220,000 tea producers are affected by Sainsbury’s decision and their concerns about it have been blatantly ignored. In an open letter to Sainsbury’s*, farmers said: ‘We told Sainsbury’s loud and clear: your model will bring about disempowerment. We are extremely concerned about the power and control that Sainsbury’s seeks to exert over us.’ Under the pilot scheme, the cash bonus that farmers receive on top of what they earn for their tea (similar to the Fairtrade Premium) no longer goes directly to them. Instead, their money is held by Sainsbury’s, who have instructed farmers to apply to a Board in London to find out whether they can have it.  I’ve supported Fairtrade for many years because it is an internationally respected, farmer-owned certification scheme with over 20 years of experience fighting for a fairer deal for millions of farmers in developing countries. Fairtrade ensures that a company’s supply chain is independently checked against farmer-set standards. That’s why the Fairtrade Mark is the most recognised and trusted ethical label in the world. So please sign this petition and tell Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Mike Coupe: don’t ditch Fairtrade! If we make it very clear we only support Fairtrade tea, we can make him reconsider.  This petition is supported by: Oxfam, Cafod, Christian Aid, Traidcraft Exchange, Tearfund, Trade Justice Movement and Commitment for Life. *You can read the open letter from tea farmers to Sainsbury’s here.

Barbara Gwinnett
104,155 supporters