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295: Polypropylene-free tea bags


Canadian researchers published a study in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Environmental Science and Technology which found that steeping a single plastic tea bag at brewing temperature releases about 11.6 billion minuscule particles known as “microplastics” and 3.1 billion “nanoplastics” into each cup. Teabags could be as big a cause of plastic pollution as microbeads or carrier bags.


Organic tea bags are made by a dozen manufacturers including Brew Tea Co., Teapigs. Aldi, Duchy Organics, Hampstead Tea, Steenbergs, We are Tea, Hannah Sell’s Tea and Nemi.

Based in Keynsham, England, Pukka Herb teabags are made of a special blend of natural abaca (a type of banana) and plant cellulose fibres. Their supply of tea bag paper is also unbleached. They are staple-free and 100% biodegradable and/or recyclable. The tea bag strings are made from 100% organic, non-GMO, un-bleached cotton use a simple stitch of organic cotton and a unique folding process. This means they do not need to use polypropylene or a metal staple to hold their teabags together.

The tea bag is only a century old. Before that loose tea leaves would brew in a tea pot, while the tea infuser or strainer made of stainless steel was fine for one or two people. These systems are still eco friendly.

What you can do: Purchase tea that uses organic tea bags.

Discover Solution 296: Second-hand Shopping Mall

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