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PG Tips promotes ‘green’ tea bags in eco-savvy campaign

Campaign promotes Unilever brand’s biodegradable tea bags.

by Emmet McGonagle

Unilever-owned PG Tips has launched a campaign encouraging tea lovers to reduce household waste via its biodegradable tea bags.

Created by Lola MullenLowe, “Have you made the switch” starts as a young girl organises a tea party with her stuffed toys, including the brand’s beloved monkey mascot.

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“Alright everyone, I want to address the elephant in the room”, she begins, before outlining that the group will now only use PG Tips’ biodegradable tea bags.

PG Tips claims to be the first tea brand to switch to biodegradable bags across its entire range.

The ad was written by Josefina Mateo and Begoña Moreno, art directed by Ezequiel Scarpini and directed by Marcelo Burgos through Blur.

“As the nation’s largest producer of tea bags it is our responsibility to lead the mainstream black tea industry on this important change,” Fiachra Moloney, tea director at Unilever UK & Ireland, said.

Moloney noted that PG Tips made the transition to biodegradable tea bags earlier this year, and encouraged other brands to do the same.

“With its warm and heartfelt message we want this TV campaign to encourage tea lovers to question what their tea bags are made of and if they can make the switch to a more sustainable cuppa,” he continued.

“In the meantime, we are continuing to work hard to remove our plastic wraps and make our packs fully plant-based.”

Earlier this year BBC launched an investigation via the University of East Anglia exploring which popular tea brands were biodegradable.

While PG Tips, Clipper and Pukka were all found to be biodegradable, Twinings, Yorkshire Tea and Tetley were found to contain plastic.

The brands told the BBC that they would switch to biodegradable materials by the end of this year, though none of the three has yet completed the change.

PG Tips is also a member of The Ethical Tea Partnership – an organisation that works with retailers to improve sustainability among tea brands.

However, the Unilever brand isn’t the only tea brand making a big deal over its sustainability efforts.

In October, competing brand Clipper Teas launched a campaign positioning itself as an ethically sourced Fairtrade company and encouraging tea lovers to buy non-bleached tea bags.

Back in June, Yorkshire Tea enlisted the brand’s original illustrator Andrew Hutchinson for a spot celebrating its products’ carbon neutral status.

Speaking of PG Tips’ eco-friendly protagonist, Tomás Ostiglia, executive creative director at Lola MullenLowe Madrid, said: “Working with small children might seem challenging but I admire how much they truly believe they can change the world for the better.

“It’s an honour to use the voice of such a young person, empowering her to be the messenger of positive change for a beloved brand like PG Tips.”