It’s safe to say that we all love a good cup of tea. Whether you prefer green tea, herbal teas, or a good old cuppa English we can all go for a hot cup of tea. The issue with tea is that most of the tea companies aren’t doing the best they can do for our environment. This is why it is up to us to make sure we have the best cup of zero waste loose leaf tea both for the sake of ourselves and our environment.
So, what is the tea industry doing wrong, and how can they do better?
The first issue, and the one with the most environmental impacts is the issue of deforestation. Often times many forests are torn down to make more tea plantations. While this is good for the amount of tea that is grown and the tea business, and good for tea consumers, it’s not good for the environment.
Whilst we can’t do much about the way that tea is grown, we can do more about what we choose to consume. This starts by choosing who to buy our tea from.
Choose ethical companies
Choosing a tea company to buy from can be difficult, but always try and consider tea companies that are part of the Ethical Tea Partnership. The Ethical Tea Partnership is a London based organisation that works with tea companies, development organisations, and governments all with the goal of improving the lives of tea farmers, workers, and the environment. All of this can ensure that more companies can grow fair trade tea and the supply chain is a more ethical one.
Changes in packaging
Different tea brands and companies are making changes when it comes to how they package their tea. Many are ditching plastic packaging and traditional tea bags for plastic-free tea bags and recyclable packaging. Sustainable packaging is on the rise such as the likes of compostable packaging and compostable tea bags. There are more companies choosing recyclable materials too, though that’s a better option it still isn’t ideal.
The good news is that there’s a better option.
Support small businesses
Buying from local health food stores or a bulk food store is a much better option than not. Choosing to buy from refillable shops also ensures that the tea is of the highest quality as most of these shops carry organic tea from organic farms.
You can also recycle and upcycle any cute reusable tins to make an even more positive effect and be able to truly call it zero waste loose leaf tea. Loose tea comes in many types and varieties such as black tea, white tea, and mint tea, too.
It’s really simple to make the swap. Buy yourself a stainless steel tea infuser or any plastic-free tea strainer, choose your favourite loose-leaf tea, and add hot water. Electric kettle or tea pots, that’s all up to you. But as you can see, it really is simple to make the swap from plastic tea bags (or plastic containing tea bags) to zero waste loose leaf tea.
Your health and the environment
We’ve all heard of nano plastics, but do we really know what they are? And how they are getting into our bodies and our water supplies? Well, a study showed that billions of micro and nano plastics are released into our teacups! This not only means that we are ingesting nano plastic from bags that may have a plastic lining or have a small amount of plastic within the bag but it also means it goes into our water supply too. A seemingly harmless act like pouring your cold cuppa down the drain can leak plastic materials into the water supply.
To prevent this, it’s best to choose loose leaf tea for our cups of tea. At the end of the day we all just want to enjoy our cuppa and the health benefits that drinking tea can have. To be able to fully take advantage of them we need to consider the best options for truly zero waste loose leaf tea for us and for the environment.