From The Republic of Tea Charter, adopted March 16, 1994: We are mindful of the impact that our actions and business activities have on our communities and environment and are conscientious to act in a long-term and responsible manner.
The Republic of Tea is a progressive, environmentally and socially conscious business that works to
elevate consumers’ consciousness of wasteful packaging and the opportunities for reuse and recycling.
We embody the ancient Chinese philosophy of Ta shun — the Great Harmony – which manifests itself
when people naturally care about the world and depend on each other for the well being of the whole. It
is a collective concern for others and aspiration to seek opportunities, initiatives and actions that will
better the human condition as well as the planet.
Premium Teas and Herbs
The Republic of Tea procures only the highest-quality tea grown at the premier tea gardens of the world,
where the company has long-term supply partnerships. The teas are naturally processed using no
foreign materials or additives. All teas are tested for pesticide residues as well as all other known
matter. All teas also undergo stringent quality assurance processes at the garden level prior to shipment
The Republic of Tea’s cylindrical steel tea tins are airtight, recyclable and reusable (steel containers are
the most recycled packages on Earth). As noted in all label copy, Citizens (consumers) are encouraged to
use existing tins to store refills–or anything they like. Steel is a versatile commodity that plays a major
part in everyday life—it is used in applications ranging from food cans and household containers to
automobiles and office buildings. Steel makes up the largest category of metals in the municipal solid
waste (MSW) stream. For many years, steel has been a commonly recycled material in North America
and throughout the world. Efficiently managing and recycling used steel products is important to
maximize the utility of this commodity. Recovering steel not only saves money, but also dramatically
reduces the energy consumption required to make steel from virgin materials. In turn, this reduces the
amount of greenhouse gases released during processing and manufacturing steel from virgin ore.
(Source: Environmental Protection Agency)
The Republic of Tea offers Citizens a variety of packaging options, from full-leaf bulk bags and tea bag
tins, to ready-to-drink glass bottled iced teas and miniature Traveler’s Tea Tins. It is up to the individual
person or business to make the decision as to what type of packaging to purchase. The standards often
set by fine dining restaurants across the United States and the expectations of their guests, often require
a ready-to-drink iced tea in a glass bottle, as in the case of The Republic of Tea’s Glass Bottled Iced Teas.
These signature glass bottles contain 20-25% recycled glass. A glass bottle is the very best way to
preserve the integrity, quality and freshness of premium iced tea. Further, glass is one of the world’s
most recycled materials. Soft drink, beer, food, wine and liquor containers represent the largest source
of glass generated and recovered for recycling. (Source: Environmental Protection Agency)
Bisphenol A (BPA)
The Republic of Tea’s Citizen’s Traveler Press is certified BPA-free by Bodum (manufacturer). Studies
show potential health effects of Bisphenol A, commonly abbreviated as BPA — linking high levels of BPA
exposure to increased risk of heart disease and diabetes and even a decreased sensitivity to
chemotherapy in cancer patients. The compound is also linked to developmental and brain effects in
infants; BPA is known to mimic the hormone estrogen in the body, which can cause changes in
developing fetuses and infants. (Source: Time, November 2008)
Unbleached Tea Bag Paper – Free of Unnecessary Strings, Tags and Staples
The Republic of Tea’s signature-round tea bags have always been made from unbleached tea paper, free
of unnecessary strings, tags and staples. This unbleached tea paper is free of chemicals; no chlorinecontaining
compounds are used. Further, The Republic of Tea’s tea bag paper is gluten free and kosher
The company’s packing and shipping practices center on minimalism, simplicity and the elimination of
excess. For all shipments, void fill is the principal packing material, supplemented by excess tea paper
and when necessary by GEAMI, a 100 percent recyclable packaging product. With GEAMI both the
outer paper and inner tissue can be placed in the newspaper bin for recycling. This natural packing
material not only protects fine tea and tea ware, it allows The Republic of Tea to use smaller shipping
boxes, which results in saving fossil fuels (both from tires and diesel gas) and pollution in transportation.
The Republic of Tea’s shipping center is located in Southern Illinois, in the middle of the United States.
Being equal distance to each coast allows expedient, efficient and economical distribution of product
throughout the county, while minimizing our carbon footprint. Further, there are strategic locations in
the Southeast and West that produce the brand’s Glass Bottled Iced Teas and distribute the product to
restaurants in proximity to those facilities (i.e., production facility in California supplies Glass Bottled
Iced Teas to Western States and Hawaii). Everyone contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions that
cause climate change. There are many things individuals and businesses can do to reduce carbon
emissions. The choices made at homes, while traveling, when dining, shopping and disposing waste
influence the carbon footprint and can help ensure a stable climate for future generations (Source: The
Each of The Republic of Tea’s decaffeinated teas are naturally decaffeinated using an environmentally
friendly CO2 / high-pressure process (no commercial chemical extraction). Leaves are lightly soaked
and then flushed with CO2; when it dissipates, it removes caffeine while retaining the tea’s healthful
properties and rich flavor.
The Ethical Tea Partnership
The Republic of Tea is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, the non-commercial alliance of major tea
packing companies working together to promote social responsibility in the world tea trade and to
ensure the ethical sourcing of tea. Find out more at: www.ethicalteapartnership.org.
Eco-Friendly Full-Leaf Round Tea Bags
Eco-Friendly Full-Leaf Round Tea Bags are made of renewable resources, including all-natural bamboo.
An open-weave design allows optimum full-leaf infusion and optimum full-leaf flavor. These tea bags,
modeled after The Republic of Tea’s signature round tea bags, are made of 100 percent biodegradable
material and sewn with all-natural bamboo string. The tag, complete with brewing instructions printed
with soy ink, is made from all-natural bamboo and 100 percent recycled paper. From the bag to the tag –
they biodegrade naturally and are 100 percent compostable. The mesh tea bag fabric of the Eco-Friendly
Full-Leaf Tea Bags, a byproduct of corn, is an all-natural renewable resource. The open-weave design has
excellent permeability which allows for a complete infusion of the full leaves, resulting in a delicious,
The Republic of Tea tableware (called Sipware) is thoroughly examined and accredited by a globally
recognized product safety testing organization before the goods are permitted to leave the factory in the
country of origin. Tableware (Sipware) is in compliance with all safety, regulatory and government
standards including tests for safe harbor levels of lead and cadmium. Further, all of The Republic of Tea
tableware (Sipware) meets The U.S. Food and Drug Administration national requirements before it is
sold in the United States; in accordance with California Proposition 65.
The Republic of Tea is the first tea company in the United States to be certified by the Gluten-Free
Certification Organization (GFCO), ensuring all of our full-leaf and bagged teas are free of gluten and
possible cross-contamination from gluten. The GFCO, a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group®
(GIG), is the first program of its kind in the world to supervise the manufacturing and testing protocol of
companies that market gluten-free (GF) foods, for the purpose of offering consumers a third-party
assurance of safety. This independent food processing inspection program will verify food products
meet the highest standards for GF ingredients and are produced in a safe environment.
Kosher Certification by the Orthodox Union
Many of The Republic of Tea teas are Kosher Certified by the Orthodox Union (OU). The OU is the
world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency, certifying more than 400,000
products produced in over 6,000 plants located in 80 countries around the world. Many of the food
industry’s most recognized brands, large and small, choose the OU for their kosher certification. Active
for over two centuries, the OU Kosher is unique among all the major kosher certification agencies as it is
part of a non-profit communal organization (founded in 1898), so they maintain the highest levels of
integrity without any possible conflict of interest. The organization ensures the highest standard of
Kosher Certification. The OU mark is featured on all of The Republic of Tea’s kosher teas. The Stir Fry
Tea Oil and every glass bottled, ready-to-drink iced teas are certified kosher by the OU.
Fair Trade Certification
All of The Republic of Tea’s products are fairly traded. The company also offers delicious and
healthful Fair Trade Certified teas. The Republic of Tea Fair Trade Certified teas are certified by Fair
Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. Communities
in tea growing regions utilize proceeds from the sale of Fair Trade Certified products to
enhance and invest in opportunities for local education, housing, healthcare and to improve the
specific needs of the locality.
Non-GMO Project Verification
The Republic of Tea is in the process of obtaining Non-GMO Project verifications for its premium
teas and herbs. Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only independent verification for
products made according to rigorous best practices for GMO (genetically modified organisms)
avoidance. Our verified products are produced in compliance with the Non-GMO Project
Standard—that means we must follow rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance, including
segregation and traceability to prevent contamination. The Republic of Tea currently has received
Non-GMO Project verification of over 40 of its premium teas and herbs.
Rainforest Alliance Certification
Many of The Republic of Tea’s premium teas and herbs come from Rainforest Alliance Certified
farms. The Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping
them to transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large
multinational corporations to small community based cooperatives, businesses and consumers
worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance’s efforts to bring responsibly produced goods
and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily.
Rainforest Alliance Certified farm and forest operations meet comprehensive social, environmental
and economic standards that conserve the environment and promote healthy ecosystems while
benefitting the lives of farm and forest workers, their families and their communities.
USDA Organic Certification
The Republic of Tea procures organics teas and herbs whenever possible. In addition, the brand
features several teas certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). All leaves,
herbs and botanicals that are certified organic are meticulously inspected. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture has uniform guidelines and strict standards farmers, manufacturers and importers
must adhere to in order to be certified organic. The offering of organic teas and herbs is certified
organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), an independent service organization developed
specifically for the purpose of certifying the authenticity of organically grown produce. Cultivated
with a zealous adherence to organic regulations, these teas are grown without the use of synthetic
chemicals or pesticides, using only sustainable agricultural methods.
The Republic of Tea sources only the highest-quality tea grown in the premier tea gardens in the
world. From the Wuyi Mountains of China to the island of Sri Lanka, we treasure our long-term
relationships with each supplier. All of our teas are naturally produced. All of our teas are
inspected and undergo the most stringent of quality assurance processes at the garden level before
they are shipped. Once they arrive at our packaging facility, they are inspected again. We take this
process very seriously to ensure that we’re providing our Citizens with the highest quality and
safest teas from each unique origin.
All-natural flavorings used in The Republic of Tea teas and tea-inspired products meet the
requirements as outlined in Federal Drug Administration 21 Code of Federal Regulations
(CFR)Part 101.22(a)(3). The flavorings used by The Republic of Tea are all natural and
manufactured by steam distillation extraction only; no chemical additives or preservatives are
used. The flavorings are produced and handled without the use of genetic engineering or
With the exception of natural almond flavoring used in a small number of teas, none of the natural
flavorings used contain allergens. As with all packaged foods, Citizens should always review labels
carefully to check for possible allergens. Further, The Republic of Tea is a latex-free facility, where
only vinyl food-grade gloves are used when handling product.