Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with millions of cups consumed daily. Moreover, it is in a solid second place behind water. Tea remains a top pick for many, whether black, oolong, green, or yellow.
Statista reports that countries like Japan, England, Turkey, and the Middle Eastern regions have the largest tea consumption. This hot beverage is synonymous with family, friends, and good times for most of these cultures.
But have you ever contemplated the impact of tea bags on the environment? Traditional tea bags consist of non-biodegradable materials that end up in landfills. In turn, this contributes to environmental pollution. However, there is a solution: eco-friendly tea bags.
Below, you can explore the basics of eco-friendly tea bags and how they work:
Tea Bags Aren’t Eco-Friendly
According to Rare Tea Company even biodegradable tea bags aren’t eco-friendly, because they used precious natural resources and use monoculture crops like corn to make plastics called silken. However, these materials are still better for the environment than traditional tea bags.
Eco-friendly tea bags contain more natural fibers like cotton, hemp, or corn starch-based materials. They decompose quickly. In contrast, other tea bags could take years to disintegrate.
Below are some of the harmful materials found in traditional tea bags that could make them hazardous to the consumer and the environment:
- Epichlorohydrin and other microplastics lend stability to the artificial bag.
- Metal staples to hold the tags in place on the bag.
- Synthetic chemical glue to seal the edges of the bag.
- Whitening agents, like bleach, give tea bags their distinct white appearance.
Although we don’t consume tea bags or their tags, chemicals and other harmful components could still end up in our tea. The hot water could dissolve or react to them, mixing them within the liquid.
“Green Tea from Rareteacompany.com”
How Eco-Friendly Tea Bags Work
Eco-friendly tea bags work in the same way as traditional tea bags. The only difference is the material used to make them. When you steep the tea bag in hot water, the water extracts the flavor and aroma from the tea leaves, just like with any other tea bag.
What Makes Tea Bags Eco-Friendly?
Although most eco-friendly tea bags still contain some form of synthetic material, like glue, there are varying degrees of sustainability. There are other factors to consider, including the following:
- Method of production: Some tea manufacturers use renewable energy or similar sustainable practices. Thus, it reduces their carbon footprint.
- Recycled materials: The packaging of some tea bags comes from recycled materials. Because of this, they save the environment one box at a time. On top of that, the used packages go back into the recycling bin to become the next package.
- Materials of the bags: When manufacturers don’t add bleached paper, synthetic materials, or plastic components to the teabags, they don’t contribute to plastic pollution.
Naturally occurring fibers prevent pollution and provide a fuller and richer flavor to the tea after brewing. And that is only one of the many benefits.
The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Tea Bags
Eco-friendly tea bags offer several benefits to both consumers and the environment. Unfortunately, not many are aware of them. It’s easy to grab a traditional tea bag without considering the consequences.
Perhaps the benefits listed here could give you food for thought:
- Reduced environmental impact: Eco-friendly tea bags minimize landfill waste.
- Healthier cup of tea: Eco-friendly tea bags don’t contain harmful chemicals or additives that can affect the taste and quality of the tea.
- No compromise on convenience: Eco-friendly tea bags are as convenient as traditional tea bags.
- Ethical production and farming: Many eco-friendly tea bag productions use fair trade and sustainable practices. In other words, the tea farmers receive reasonable payment while protecting the environment.
Drinking tea doesn’t have to include a guilty conscience. Switch to eco-friendly tea bags and ditch the negatives to focus on the benefits.
The Tea Bag Alternatives
Even with much convincing and after displaying all the benefits, some may still prefer to go without. But how can you drink tea without a disposable tea bag? It’s simple.
Choose one of the brewing methods below for a completely natural approach:
- A teapot with loose tea leaves
- Reusable tea bags
- Tea pods or strainers
Of course, any of these are more natural and environmentally friendly than any disposable. Nevertheless, it remains a personal preference. As long as you enjoy your tea responsibly, the brewing method shouldn’t be the deciding factor.
Eco-friendly tea bags are an excellent alternative to traditional tea bags, especially regarding environmental impact. So, consider eco-friendly tea bags to enjoy your tea while contributing to cleaner practices.