Here at ORGANIC INDIA, Plastic Free July is right up our alley! Every July, this awesome global movement promotes going without single-use plastics to work toward the goal of having cleaner streets, oceans and beautiful communities.
When it comes to Plastic Free July, several great initiatives spring to mind, such as: bringing our own bag to the supermarket or farmers’ market, bringing our keep cup for take away drinks, forgoing the straw, or buying from bulk stores to avoid unnecessary packaging.
Tea bags: a potential source of single-use plastic
Another potential source of single-use plastics you may not have thought of is your tea bag; not all, but some.
A recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology found single tea bags can release close to 12 billion microplastic particles and more than 3 billion even smaller nanoplastic particles into the water of your cup of tea.* The effect on our health is truly unknown but microplastics do contain a variety of components known to harm human health. The plastics can be found either in the bag itself or as a sealant.
Not only are you ingesting plastic, when you discard your tea bag you are throwing your single-use plastic-containing tea bag into the environment. These plastics contain chemical additives that leach out after entering the environment and are not recyclable or biodegradable, therefore as opposed to breaking down, they accumulate. They are also ingested by animals, working their way up the food chain, i.e. bio-accumulating.
Fortunately, not all tea bags are created equal.
Plastic-free tea bags!
ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi teabags are made from unbleached filter paper, which comes from the cellulose fibre of the Abaca Plant. It is unbleached, chemical-free and biodegradable, therefore completely safe to compost. There are no glues, no sealants and no staples. Not a sign of microplastics to be found in these tea bags!
ORGANIC INDIA tea bags are:
- Plastic-free filter paper
- Made from plant fibre
- Contain soy-based ink on the tag
Re-infuse and Reuse Your Tea bags!
You can also re-infuse! The potent whole herb philosophy and certified organic herbs and spices mean you can re-infuse your bag and enjoy a second cup. The flavour of our herbal infusions remains lovely the second time around.
There are also so many ways you can reuse your ORGANIC INDIA tea bags. Because they contain nothing but organic herbs, spices and natural filter paper, they are safe for reuse in a huge variety of surprising uses, from adding a little extra punch to your bath, to household first aid!
Tulsi Tea Boxes
ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi tea boxes are made from 100% recycled paperboard, with a minimum of 30% post-consumer content. ORGANIC INDIA also has a range of loose leaf teas in re-useable tins.
The individual tea bag wrappers are designed to ensure a long shelf-life, much longer than many other herbal teas available, thus reducing wastage and retaining the health benefits longer since they are kept fresher than they would be if unwrapped.
To preserve the full health benefits and quality of the essential oils and herbs in our teas it is necessary to protect them from light and heat. In order to do this we are currently using foil in our individual tea bag wrappers.
The ORGANIC INDIA team is currently working diligently on a compostable wrapper for our tea bags and are looking forward to sharing that with you!
ORGANIC INDIA is continuously seeking new and innovative ways in which we can improve our own sustainable practices that serve, honour and protect Mother Nature, as well as to support the livelihood and well-being of farmers and tribal wildcrafters in rural India.
*Hernandez et al (2019). Plastic teabags release billions of microparticles and nanoparticles into tea. Environ. Sci. Technol.