Loose Leaf Or Tea Bags?

Is there anything better than a hot cup of tea in the morning? Or at midday, mid afternoon or even midnight!

With such a huge array of teas available it’s hard to choose … herbal, gumboot, spicy, flowery, tea that wakes you up, tea that helps you sleep, homemade, loose leaf, bag tea, the choices are endless.

But what if you found out that your favourite cup of tea is hiding something?

Sadly there is a downside to that soothing cup of tea, and it’s not just the plastic wrapper on the box, or the foil that’s inside the box keeping your bags fresh, but there’s actually plastic in most tea bags too.

Polypropylene is a type of plastic sealant used during tea bag manufacture to seal the bag and keep the tea inside. This type of bag is therefore not 100% biodegradable as when composting little bits of microplastic won’t break down and will be left in the soil.

Tea companies around the world use different tea bags, some state that they are biodegradable, but on closer inspection this is only in commercial facilities not at home in your compost pile.

Some of the newer style of bag, (like the pyramid bags from Purity, my favourite range of teas) are derived from maize starch, these bags look and feel a bit like nylon but they’re not. They are biodegradable.

To find out what sort of bags your favourite NZ brand uses check out this excellent article from Conscious Kiwi – Would You Like Plastic With That?

Of course the only thing to do if you want to be totally microplastic free when sipping your tea is to switch to loose leaf tea. Loose leaf tea is often superior in quality and tastes better; there’s plenty of room in the tea pot for the leaves to unfurl and steep.

We love the Himalayan tea from The Tea House, their fair trade tea is straight from the plantation in Nepal. Grown at an altitude of 2000m, near the famous tea gardens of Darjeeling, these rare, exquisite teas are packed full of health giving properties and are some of the best teas in NZ.

Or you can go next level and collect your own herbs, leaves and flowers, then dry them out and make a unique blend! These seed racks from The Crafty Gatherer are also perfect for drying.

 

Comments 1

  1. Polypropylene (recycling number 5) the plastic most used to seal teabags is, in some circumstnces, biodiegradable. Wikipedia says, ‘Microbial communities isolated from soil samples mixed with starch have been shown to be capable of degrading polypropylene.’
    Polypropylene is also used as meshes inside human bodies. Wiki says, ‘ Polypropylene has been reported to degrade while in human body as implantable mesh devices. The degraded material forms a tree bark-like layer at the surface of mesh fibers’. the citation says that this can eventually lead to warping, cracking and deformation in the body.
    Should i dump teabags in the bin now insteaqd of composting?

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