Tea, glorious plastic-free, pesticide-free, tea…

The search for the perfect tea…

One of the first things I learned doing Plastic Free July in 2014 was that tea bags have plastic in them! Whaaaaat???? Further investigation lead me to discover how much pesticide is used in tea. And having gotten really sick from too much pesticide on my produce from one market in Cambodia, I know how awful even the initial symptoms of this can feel.

So, here’s what I’ve found…

These are the criteria I was seeking…

  • organic tea
  • available in Australian supermarkets
  • compostable tea bags/packaging

what I discovered…

From 17 tea brands I reviewed (I’m sure there are more and I’m happy to add to the list!), 7 had tea bags containing plastic and therefore need to be sent to landfill, 2 brands I couldn’t find enough information about their packaging (and I suspect a wee bit of greenwashing). 3 more had compostable packaging but were not organic teas, 1 was certified compostable and organic but still contained a small percentage of synthetic material in the tea bag and 4 ticked all the boxes for the actual tea and tea bags, however packaging still contains plastic wrapping. However, these are top of the list for tea bags according to the criteria I set.

So here are the 4 teas that are plastic-free tea bags and organic tea.

  • Clipper – UK owned, fair trade and organic. No plastic in their tea bags and an organic product, individually wrapped tea bags. Available at select Woolworths, health food stores and online.
  • Nature’s Cuppa – Australian owned and organic. No plastic in their tea bags, however I remove the tag and staple before putting the tea bag into my composting. Cardboard box and unfortunately, sealed inside with one plastic bag.
  • Planet Organic –  Australian owned and organic. No plastic in their tea bags and no strings, tags or staples. Cardboard box, though unfortunately the box is wrapped in a plastic packet. Available at independent grocers and health food stores.
  • Pukka – UK owned, fair trade and organic. No plastic in their tea bags and all packaging is recyclable or compostable, individually wrapped tea bags. Available at mainstream supermarkets.

This articles is specifically for tea bags, so I would like to express that loose leaf, organic tea is your best bet and there are some incredible small businesses creating wonderful and delicious blends of tea… maybe I’ll do an article on those in the future.

Got another one for the list?

Got a favourite tea you’d like me to include? Share in the comments and I’ll add it to my review.


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