Are tea bags really killing the planet? Well, perhaps not quite … but they can still be a real eco problem
Little Green Steps is all about the little things our family are trying to do differently – because lots of little steps soon add up to really big ones. And the first Little Green Step we’ve taken is switching from tea bags to loose leaf tea
I only recently discovered that many brands of tea bags have a thin layer of plastic in them (Read more about plastic in tea bags here).
This came as a bit of a shock – I’ve been composting tea bags for years, and never realised those white fluffy bits in the finished compost were actually a heat-resistant plastic from my favourite brew.
Thanks to a campaign by 38 Degrees, we now know about the problem, and that means we can all do something about it.
I still buy my favourite brand of tea, I just buy it in a pack of loose leaf instead
I grew up on loose leaf tea as a kid. My mum didn’t really believe in tea strainers(!), so I have horrible memories of swigging a mouthful of tea leaves from the bottom of a cup (trust me, you only do it a couple of times in your life!)
So I was a bit worried about ditching the convenience of tea bags ~ but the switch hasn’t been as hard as I thought. Tea strainers are available in most supermarkets, online, or from your local specialist tea shop. I got a natty little “La Cafetiere” infuser pot like the one pictured from my local tea shop – so those annoying little leaves never get anywhere near the cup.
Sadly, even loose leaf tea is still packed in plastic (come on Yorkshire Tea, get your act together!) But at least now, that plastic is going in the bin where it can hopefully be a little bit better managed. Why is that a win? Because now I’m putting nothing but raw tea leaves in the composter. And the plastic from my tea isn’t getting dug into the garden, where mini-beasts might eat it and add it to the food chain.
Little Green Step #1 – done!
Note: You can buy tea strainers and infusers at many specialist / local independent tea shops like Choosy’s and The Tea Pot in Yorkshire. La Cafetiere infuser teapots also retail online at Amazon, EBay, Wayfair and more