Plastic free tea bags and sustainable packaging is something that we have been passionate about for a long time! Our tea bags went 100% plastic free over 5 years ago, and we haven’t looked back since. Us Brits drink 165 million cups of tea a day so every plastic free tea bag helps! Sadly, the majority of tea bags are not plastic free, biodegradable, nor compostable. In fact, most tea bags on the market contain up to 25% plastic!!
Why do some tea bags contain plastic?
Small amounts of plastic called polypropylene are used in the manufacturer process to seal the tea bag when heat is added. You should be able to tell from a company’s packaging if their tea bags contain plastic, but if not, one big clue is ghostly plastic shells popping up all over your home compost like the pic below.
Are your tea bags 100% plastic free?
The very simple answer to this, is yes! Our tea bags are 100% plastic free and 100% biodegradable. They are made from a material called SOILON, which is a bi-product of corn starch. Corn starch is a natural carbohydrate extracted from corn. We seal our teabags with ultrasound (not glue!) and we don’t have tags on our tea bags so that we can save on paper #treesbeforetags.
How do I get rid of my tea bags?
When you’ve finished sipping on your favourite cuppa, the best way to get rid of our tea bags is in your food waste bin collection bin. From here, the tea bags will journey to an industrial composter which has all of the right temperatures and microbes to break down the tea bags in just a few months. You can also put our tea bags in your home compost, although they’ll take longer (up to a year) to fully biodegrade so we wouldn’t recommend it.
Or you can use leftover teabags as an air freshener or to clean your toilet, we'll leave this one up to you!
How can I avoid plastic in my tea?
The main thing you can do is to make sure that you are buying your tea from a company who clearly states that their tea bags are plastic free. This might be written on their packaging or their blog, so individual company websites are a good place to check.
What about the rest of your packaging?
Our cartons: Our cartons are recyclable, bio-degradable, and made from paper certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). This means that all of the wood used to make our cartons is sourced from forests that are managed sustainably. Pop these in with your recycling.
Our café/restaurant tins: Our tins of tea that can be found in restaurants and cafes are made out of tinplate and aluminium and can be reused and recycled.
The see-through bags which contain our tea: These bags are made out of polypropylene which is a form of plastic and so this element of our packaging is currently not plastic free. We’ve been doing a lot of research into plastic-free alternatives and will be making the switch in the coming months to a bio-plastic.
Our envelope samples: This packaging is made out of polyethylene which is a form of plastic and so is also not plastic free at the moment. We are looking into plastic free alternatives as we speak! All of the plastic free alternatives we have currently seen don’t guarantee the quality of our tea, but we’re going to keep looking until we find a solution!
Our guilt-free sipping pledge
We’re on a mission to bring the highest quality tea to the masses in a way that everyone can be proud of. Everyone who drinks our tea can sit back and enjoy their favourite cuppa knowing that their tea has been both ethically and sustainably sourced from leaf to cup. We work closely with the Ethical Tea Partnership, facilitating strategic sustainability projects, rigorous health and safety standards, and increasing farmer’s resilience to climate change.
We can always do better. There are still a few of our products that contain plastic in their packaging which we’ve already talked about. We’re fully committed to eliminating plastic from our supply chain and sourcing sustainable alternatives for our packaging to be 100% plastic free by the end of 2018.