by John Ramos

PLEASANTON (KPIX) — Next time you’re in the supermarket, pay attention to how much of our food comes encased in shiny, plastic packaging. Chris Clark did and then he did something to change that — starting in the beverage aisle.

“I used to work for a bottled beverage company where I learned that only seven percent of plastic bottles end up getting recycled. The rest go to either the landfills or the ocean,” Clark explains.

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That’s making a mess of the ocean and harming sea life, as even simple items like coffee and tea are now generating plastic residue.

Clark saw that problem as an opportunity. The Pleasanton native has created a new product called Clark’s Tea Cubes.

Each cube contains organic tea powder and sugar and natural flavor oils. Put two cubes in eight ounces of hot water and, in about a minute, you get tea without the trash.

The cubes come in four flavors and are stored in portable metal tins. It’s a simple, convenient idea that hearkens back to how food used to be sold in the 1800s before packaging lasted hundreds of years in a landfill.

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“So, for the eco-friendly, sustainably-minded person, it’s another option to have good quality tea that doesn’t involve waste,” Clark said.

Momentum is growing to reduce plastic trash with many communities now banning disposable grocery bags and even drinking straws. And while Chris hopes his new company will do well. He wouldn’t mind if it also did some good.

“Success for me is if I can at least make a small dent…or at least bring more awareness to the single-use plastic problem that we have. I found a small solution to a small problem and hopefully I can inspire people to come up with more solutions.”

Clark’s Tea Cubes began full production in March and has partnered with a business incubator to get them on retail shelves. For now, the product is only available online.

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WEBLINK: Clark’s Tea Cubes