Overall, this product is made responsibly from the growing of the ingredients all the way to the recyclability after consumption. Honest Tea is making a solid and effective effort to be a stand out sustainable option, and I hope to see them continue to make progress towards even more sustainability. The fact that this product contains all organic ingredients and tea and sugar from Fair Trade Certified estates dramatically increases the overall positive impact. By taking the multiple aspects of sustainability into account, (economic, social, and environmental) this tea is unique and consumers can feel good about supporting this brand.
Sustainable and Delicious - This Tea is a Must-Try!
The ingredients that make up this product are organic brewed tea, organic cane sugar, organic lemon juice from concentrate, organic and natural flavors, and citric acid. The transparency of the sourcing of ingredients for this tea is shocking as they have so much information available to the consumer and show where every ingredient is sourced from. For example, they share that the tea for this product includes green tea sourced from the Wuyuan Tea Farmer’s Association in Jiangxi, China and black tea sourced from the Chamong Group in Assam, India. This type of transparency is incredibly rare and it’s great to see Honest Tea able to trace all of their ingredients and share this with the consumer. They even include pictures from the growing estates that showcases the farmers. Moreover, all of the tea and sugar used in this product are both Fair Trade Certified and the product overall is certified as USDA Organic. It is so impressive to see that this product is responsibly sourcing their ingredients and they definitely deserve praise for this practice!
Unlike many other beverage or even iced tea companies, Honest Tea makes a point to use only recyclable bottles for their products. They do have two different lines of teas, one of which uses plastic bottles and the other glass, so to increase their manufacturing sustainability, they could include more glass bottle options for consumers. Since many of the ingredients in this product are organic and Fair Trade, this already contributes to high sustainability in this category. Honest Tea also explains that they harvest their tea by hand and brew it as you would at home before it’s bottled. Lastly, they explains that the used tea leaves are composted whenever possible to act as fertilizer at farms near their brewing facilities. To increase their score in this category, I'd like to see Honest Tea include statistics about their carbon footprint including emissions from production and distribution and how much renewable energy they use.
Honest Tea explains on their website that when you chose their product, you are “choosing to support yourself, your family, and your community” which seems like a bold claim for an iced tea. However, they do back their claim up by donating at least one percent of sales from this product to the 1% For the Planet Network. In addition, since the tea and sugar used is Fair Trade Certified, Honest Tea pays an extra amount of money as a Fair Trade Premium that goes to supplier communities who then vote on how to use this money. Since this company is so popular and has made an immense amount of money in sales, their score in this category could improve if they donated a larger percentage of sales to charity.