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Keeping Our Tea Plastic-free

Teabags Use Plastic?

We know plastic is hidden in all sorts of surprising things, but teabags take the biscuit. Lots of teabags have polypropylene in them, to help seal the bag and maintain its shape in hot water. But it also means the teabags don’t biodegrade and they leach microplastics everywhere, including into our cuppa. And, unsurprisingly, some of the most affordable teabags are the worst offenders.

What About Compostable Teabags?

Lots of companies are moving towards teabags made with PLA or Polylactic Acid. PLA is a bio-plastic, meaning it isn’t made from fossil-fuel BUT it still isn’t fully biodegradable and can only be composted industrially. So, although better than their coal-based counterparts, ‘compostable’ bio-plastic bags aren’t a complete solution.

What’s the Answer?

The most direct, gold standard way to avoid the whole issue is to make your brew with loose-leaf tea. The tea in your cup will be just as tasty as from a bag, totally plastic-free and afterwards, the nitrogen-rich leaves can be added directly to your compost.

Look for brands with plastic-free packaging – beware, even some of the tea that comes in cardboard boxes or tins has a plastic bag inside! Ideally, the loose-leafed tea you choose would come directly from a local Zero Waste shop using your own container.

And when it comes to actually using the leaves, there are teapots of all sizes with built-in infusers and strainers, or you can recreate that individual tea experience by popping one of the many metal infusers on the market which can be used at home or on the go.

In Short

Those of us who love our tea can enjoy it plastic-free without too much inconvenience or ingenuity; so will you put the kettle on or shall I?


For more information contact:

Join our friends Plastic Free Hackney for an online talk on how to go plastic-free in 10 easy steps being held this Thursday (14th).


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