Fantastic news, Clipper tea are now the first bulk tea producer to make their bags plastic free! Not only that but they are still full of fairtrade tea, still unbleached and still sustainably sourced.
We think this is great news and shows that a volume tea company really can make a change for difference. The challenge is now well and truly out there for other companies to follow suit. This is a win for the environment and a win for customers.
TEA – There’s nothing like a cup of tea….So you would think there is nothing more natural than a cup of tea wouldn’t you? Leaves simply picked, dried and packaged. Well that is until you learn that the majority of tea bags sold in the UK contain plastic.
Yes those little bags of flavour hide a secret. To stop them coming apart the majority are heat sealed, to allow this they contain polypropylene to help keep their shape and stop splitting when wet.
This means that they are not fully compostable, and rotting them down will leave tea bag skeletons in your compost and release plastic particles into the soil and thus the food chain as the worms will munch what’s in the soil, birds eat the worms, and so on….
So what is the answer, if you cannot do without a tea bag, go on-line and research, as the situation is changing all the time with more smaller brands ditching plastic.
At the moment other than Clipper who have gone plastic free across all of their range, it seems Twining’s loose leaf pyramid, Aldi Diplomat, and Waitrose Duchy ranges are the only normal tea bags not containing plastic which makes them suitable for composting.
Coop will join that list for its ’99’ range of tea at some point but seem to have been saying that for a while now.
Like herbal? Again Clipper lead the way, but you can also go with Teapig, or Aldi specially selected herbal teas, whilst not compostable, their bags do not contain plastic and are biodegradable in commercial composting systems and bio-digesters. Pukka teas (part of Unilever) are a special case, the bag is compostable, but the sachet it is wrapped in is not, neither is it recyclable.
What are we doing? We are generally using loose leaf tea in a pot, which is actually more cost effective, but we also have loose leaf herbal, and Clipper tea bags for when we are feeling adventurous or just plain lazy.
We can often be found in the North London suburb of Muswell Hill, from there we always pop into teh wonderfully old fashioned Martyn’s and pick up loose leaf tea from this independent supplier.