Smart Swaps are healthy, effective non-toxic alternatives to common store-bought items that you and your family use every day.
Why did I start this series? Well, in the hunt for information about the scope of plastic in our environment (thank you Plastic Free July) I read in several places that there is evidence of plastic in our tea bags.
According to reporting from The Times of London popular tea companies do you single-use plastic in their teabags.
This Guardian reported notes that:
“Many tea drinkers are blissfully unaware that the teabag from their daily cuppa is sealed using plastic,” said Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food. “Even though it’s a relatively small amount, when you consider the 6bn cups of tea that are brewed up every year in the UK, we are looking at around 150 tonnes of polypropylene – that’s an enormous amount of accumulated plastic waste that is either contaminating food waste compost collections or simply going to landfill.”
Pretty crazy if you ask me!
If you are not sure if your tea bag contains syntenic fibers look at the edge if it's shiny and coated with a "heat-sealed" edge, it most likely contains plastic.
I don't know about you, but I definitely don't want to drink plastic AND be responsible for more plastic waste.
The SMART SWAP is loose leaf tea. You'll reduce your exposure to plastic and it's 100% compostable—a win for you and a win for the planet. I recommend checking out Grand River Tea, which is a Canada-based zero waste tea brand that carries a wide variety of sustainably-sourced teas—from herbal mint and earl grey, to strawberry cacao and chai.
If you are composting teabags here are a few tips that have worked for me:
- If you are worried about polypropylene being left in your compost, don't compost the tea bag
- You can always tear the bag open, remove the tea leaves and then toss the bag, not the best option
- If the teabag has a staple and string, you will need to remove them both
So starting today, I'll be sharing lots of great Smart Swaps, I will always try to find the MOST eco-friendly option and one that can help lead to a zero-waste lifestyle.
I'd love to hear from you, what do you think of this series?