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July 08, 2022 4 min read 1 Comment

Is There Plastic in Your Tea? Here’s How To Avoid It...

We’re having a part-tea but plastic ain't invited! 

Wow there are so many possible tea puns…Prepare yourselves. 

We’ve talked about a plastic free coffee routine, now it’s time for the tea! 

So, is there plastic in your tea? It is true GFZ’s,the majority of single-use tea bags contain plastic and can shed loads of micro-plastics into your drink!But, we are here to help you find out which ones, how to take plastic out of your cuppa for good and some delicious teas we have been loving!  

Loose leaf Tea

How do I know if my tea bags contain plastic?

Most standard pillow and ‘pyramid’ style tea bags rely on polypropylene fibres embedded in the outer layer to heat-seal the edges shut.

Now my  first response was that I was safe because I use paper tea bags. But,  think about it. Popping paper in hot tea will just dissolve and break  up, right? Something is added to keep the bag together so your tea does not go floating…Sure enough it was true, 

A recent study blew me away, again! It is estimated that steeping a single-use plastic teabag released approximately 11.6 billion micro-plastics and 3.1 billion nano-plastics into a single cup… 

While there are some pyramid style tea bags that are considered ‘plastic-free’ but are actually made using a plant-based polymer (sometimes referred to as a bioplastic) which is biodegradable but not domestically compostable, meaning it still take a long time for the tea bags to break and probably still rather not ingest right?

How to dispose of tea bags?

So you’ve already bought tea bags, or you have some old ones in the pantry. We totally understand! We’ve been there! Don’t go throwing your tea bags in the bin just yet! Not only does this create waste but we would much rather you get your use from them! 

Here’s what you could do: 

  1. Cut the bags open to use the tea leaves but avoid the plastics!
  2. Give the tea bags a second life, get craf-TEA…(Oh gosh). We have a cool article on how touse them to dye your clothes!
  3. Recycle them withTerraCycle, did you know TerraCycle also offers a recycling box for our workplace for any coffee and tea waste! Find out more here
  4. And if all else fails, the best way to dispose of plastic tea bags is actually to rip them open and compost the leaves, and put the bag into the bin.

How to have a plastic free tea routine…

Switch to loose leaf tea and use a reusable tea bag or strainer!

Loose leaf tea…Brew as strong or weak as you like and it leaves no trace behind! Simply brew cups or pots of tea with ease by using a tea strainer or tea swag… Yep a swag for tea! More about this soon! 

Loose leaf tea has so many beautiful health benefits.Unlike bagged tea, loose leaf tea isn’t crushed into a teabag, allowing it to keep its flavour and aromas, not to mention loose leaf has more flavour options! By choosing loose leaf tea you are now a sustainable sipper, plus it gives you a tastier and fresher brew!

Many loose leaf teas provide some level of antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients and have antibacterial properties.Here’s a few we recommend & their benefits! 

Loose Leaf Tea

1. The Calming Tea

The Loose Tea Company's Calming Tea helpsrelax the mind,relieve stress and tension,improve digestion andboost immunity with its combination of nourishing herbs & berries.

2. The Tummy Tea

Let’s get down to the guts of it. The Loose Leaf Tea Company's Tummy Tea helpssoothe upset stomachs and relax stressed minds with its combination of Peppermint, Fennel, Liquorice & Moringa.

3. The Detox Tea

The Loose Leaf Tea Company's Detox Tea blend is perfect for those who have been enjoying too much of a good thing, if you know what I’m saying… It combines Fennel, Calendula, Lemongrass and more to help your system detox and go again.

  & Pair these delicious blends with our tea swag! 

Loose Leaf Tea Tea Swag

You don’t have to buy a whole new tea pot or strainer for loose leaf tea. You can simply use a tea swag; a small canvas bag, it will act just like a tea bag!

Reusable Tea Swags are chemical-free, 100% unbleached, unseeded cotton, with no nasties or plastics involved! (unlike most single-use tea bags) Each bag has a drawstring, allowing you to adjust the strength of your tea. The material makes them suitable for fine loose tea blends too, with no floaties involved, which we love! 

Did you know it works great to use as a herb soak while cooking too? 

Or how about our pipe tea strainer? There's a reason they're constantly selling out! These BPA-free tea strainers are crafted from durable, dishwasher-safe, food-grade stainless steel and are easy to clean. While the curved handle allows you to hang your stainer over any size of cup, mug, or bottle, it is also compact to travel with.

Well the kettle is whistling at us GFZ’s, thanks for coming to our tea party! We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks for your new or existing sustainable sipping tea routine! 

If you’re about to sit with a cuppa and have a read about some more amazing swaps, we think you’ll love The Zero-Waste Kitchen: Removing Kitchen Waste For Good blog!

GFZ team xox 

1 Response

Kay Monteith
Kay Monteith

December 01, 2022

Hello. This post was perfect timing as I’m sipping my lovely tea from my vintage cup. Solution to plastic free for me is loose leaf tea in a vintage pot. I even take one to picnics etc. But I definitely support the plastic free bags. I love your company. Keep up the great work.

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