For several years I've had a project bubbling away in the background to look at introducing tealight cups which are sturdier for reuse than aluminium cups. I must admit that being a purist in terms of seeing the flame a candle, I was also looking for something clear to allow the flame to shine in all its glory for the entire burn of the candle. What joy then to be able to achieve two fabulous outcomes with one innovation!
I am delighted to finally (after lots of research, questions and testing) to be introducing a new range of tealights with clear, sturdy, reusable tealight cups.
Clear tealight cup versus aluminium tealight cup
One of the issues on which I spent quite a bit of time was looking at the environmental credentials of these cups. I must admit that initially I was put off by the idea that polycarbonate is a plastic. What I found when I researched further is that there are several varieties of polycarbonate - the most expensive of which is the V0 rated polycarbonate meaning that there are zero emissions from the cup when the candle is burning.
Another fact which swayed me was that polycarbonate cups have a much smaller carbon footprint - around 1/9th of the energy is required in their manufacture. To quote their response when I raised the issue of environmental credentials "In order to mould an aluminium cup the Bauxite used in manufacturing has to be melted at a temperature of 1800 degrees Celsius. Polycarbonate melts at about 260 degrees Celsius. That means that to mould an aluminium cup, you require about nine times the amount of energy."
And then there is the issue of reuse. As any of you who have reused the aluminium cups would know, they tend to get quite battered around! The clear cups are significantly thicker and sturdier which makes them significantly better for reuse. When your tealight has burnt out, simply flick out the metal sustainer that was holding up the wick and insert a tealight refill. If you think the cup is looking dirty, soapy hot water will clean them up a treat (that tricks holds for any candleholder that may be looking worse for wear).
During testing (over 500 tealight cups worth), there was an occasional (less than 1%) issue with the 9 hour tealight cups slumping on one side. This is due to the curvature of the self-trimming wicks and the higher melting point of beeswax. To compensate, we've included 12 cups in the 9 hour tealight pack which promises 6.
Both the polycarbonate and aluminium cups are also 100% recyclable.
In short polycarbonate cups stack up quite well:
* their carbon footprint is about 1/9th of that of making aluminium cups
* they are signficantly sturdier and more suitable for reuse
* we use V0 rated cups meaning no emissions during burning
... and, of course, they reflect more light (making them more fit for purpose) and, in my opinion, are more beautiful to use.
With Earth Hour just 1 week away, we are taking 20% off RRP for the 4 new products we have at launch for 48 hours only (until midnight 27th March 2012)
Box of 24 x 8-9 hour beeswax tealight candles with 6 clear reusable cups
Would love your thoughts and feedback.