More tea - Less teabags!
Promoting the culture of using tea infusers instead of throw-away-after-one-use tea bags is our objective.
You’d probably be surprised to learn that most tea bags contain up to 25% plastic. We didn’t know about plastic in tea bags until we saw this viral video from BBC Two about tea production.
It may be hard to believe, but most brands of bagged tea contain plastic. With millions upon millions of cups consumed daily, this adds up to a lot of plastic.
So why is plastic in tea bags to begin with?
In order for the tea bags to seal up and keep their shape in hot liquid, a plastic polymer, namely polypropylene, must be added. Even though the amounts of plastic found in tea bags is minimal — and vary between manufacturers — it adds up to quite a bit when you look at the big picture.
In the UK alone, billions of cups of tea are consumed each year, equaling tons of plastic that eventually end up in landfills or contaminating compost collections.
Due to the plastic content, conventional tea bags cannot completely decompose. This makes them a bad option for compost material and the environment… not to mention your body!
One would think making the switch to plastic-free tea bags would be easy, but many tea manufacturers protest that non-plastic bags would be too costly to implement.
Although the bigger tea bag manufacturers are more hesitant to make the switch to plastic-free bags, you don’t have to wait for them to start drinking tea the environmentally friendly way.
Opt for Loose Leaf Tea
If you’ve used bagged tea because you thought loose leaf was too much trouble, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Loose leaf tea can be made just as conveniently (see our Keurig directions below) and it’s typically more flavorful because the tea leaves haven’t been ground to dust to fit into a tiny plastic-riddled tea bag.
Instead of buying single-use pods (10 billion of them end up in landfills each year) to brew tea in your Keurig, buy a stainless steel Ekobrew refillable pod to use again and again. Simply scoop about two teaspoons of loose leaf tea (or coffee) into the pod and use your Keurig as usual.
Green Child’s editor has used the same stainless cup for 8 years and it’s still in perfect condition.
A stainless steel tea infuser will eliminate plastic contamination and the need for straining. Simply pour hot water into a tea mug and steep with loose leaf tea in the infuser for 3 to 5 minutes.
Loose leaf tea is a more economical choice since they are priced by weight while tea bags are priced per bag. You can also reuse loose leaf tea to make a second cup to cut expenses and waste. You can buy loose leaf tea in bulk. This involves as little waste and plastic contamination as possible, but loose leaf tea can also be purchased in cans or boxes if bulk is not an option for you.