Single-use tea bag is bad for the environment — and bad for your afternoon brew in general, according to a world-famous tea-seller.
“Teabags have nanoplastics in them. They’re in the sealants, they’re in the paper, and of course, you’ve also got glue,” Henrietta Lovell, founder of the Rare Tea Company, told The Current’s guest host Jayme Poisson.
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Is Plastic In Tea Bags?
It may be hard to believe, but most brands of bagged tea contain plastic. With millions upon millions of cups consumed daily, this adds up to a lot of plastic. In order for a tea bag to seal up and keep their shape in hot liquid, a plastic polymer, namely polypropylene, must be added. Even though the amounts of plastic found in tea bags is minimal — and vary between manufacturers — it adds up to quite a bit when you look at the big picture.
Most of the people in the urban area use tea bag on a daily basis since they find it convenient and easy to use. They do not consider the benefits and negative impacts. Tea bags are not always the healthiest choice. They could not only cause health problems with regular use but they can also pose a serious threat to your environment. These bags are not compostable.
According to some research reports, even the most environmentally friendly tea bag is not biodegradable completely. They can be biodegradable only seventy to eight percent. Most of the material will eventually breakdown and change into the soil. But the twenty to thirty percent is made of plastic and will not break down totally. This material will impact the environment negatively. In addition, these small wrappers will be polluting the ocean. In fact, according to the Environmental Audit Committee, tea bags are the major source for polluting our water system due to the non-recyclable components. In brief, you can say that there is nothing like environmental-friendly tea bag.
How To Reuse Them
1. Pamper Your Feet
Now this one might seem a little weird but it really works and it’s really easy to do. Simply put your used tea bag into a bowl of warm water and let it infuse for a minute. Then put your feet in the bowl and relax for a while.
The tea bag not only neutralizes foot odours but it also softens the skin.
2. Freshen Your Shoes
You can use tea to remove odours in your shoes. You need to dry the tea leaves a bit first and then place them in your shoes overnight.
3. Freshen Your Fridge
In case you hadn’t guessed already tea bags are great for neutralizing all types of household odours. Stick a few used teabags in a container in your fridge to get rid of any unwanted smells.
4. Soak In The Bath
You can create a detoxing bath by adding used tea bags to it. You can either just drop the bags into your bath or if you have a little mesh bag hang it below the taps so the water pours through the tea bags into the bath.
5. Deter Bugs
You can burn the tea leaves form a tea bag to deter flies and mosquitoes. They need to be sun-dried first though. Also, you must remove the tea leaves from the bag first!
6. Tenderise Meat
Infuse the used tea bags in some hot water and leave for a few minutes. Let the tea cool down and then marinate your meat in the tea for 30 minutes. The meat should cook faster and be more tender.
7. Feed Plants In Your Garden
Tea is full of organic nutrients which are perfect for plants. Soak you leaves in water for several days and strain the liquid. Then pour the liquid at the base of your plants. Make sure there aren’t any actual tea leaves in the liquid as they would rot which would attract harmful bugs.
8. Soothe Sunburn
If you’ve been in the sun for too long place wet teabags on your skin to help soothe and cool it down.
9. Clean Your Toilet Bowl
Throw some used tea leaves into the bottom of the toilet bowl and leave them in there for 10 minutes. Then simply flush away, the stains in the bowl should go with them. Don’t throw in whole tea bags as you’re likely to block your toilet.
10. Reducing House Dust Mites & Making Wood Shine
“The tannin in tea is fabulous for reducing the house dust mite and making wood shine. So grab your used tea bags, put them in some hot water – like you’re making a stewed cup of tea and use that liquid with a mop or wrung out duster on your wooden surfaces.”
11. For Your Eyes
Place damp used tea bags under your eyes to help reduce dark circles. Hold them there for a few minutes. This is especially great for the morning after a night of overindulgence of alcohol. The tannins in the tea help to keep skin tight and the caffeine makes the dark circles less visible.
12. Conditioner For Your Hair
Place the used tea bags in some boiled water and allow it to steep for a while. Let it cool down until it’s just warm. Then after you shampoo your hair pour the mixture over it to condition it. Leave it on for up to 10 minutes and then rinse. Your hair should be lovely and shiny afterwards.
13. Reduce The Humidity In Your Home
To do this you first need to sun dry the leaves outside, the same as the fridge one. Then simply place the leaves in a damp area of your home. The leaves absorb excess moisture.
Reusing tea bags is a good way to help the environment. And if you love zero waste lifestyle, this is the first thing you should think about.
The world is struggling hard to fight with tough environmental issues. We are not even doing a little to contribute to the cause. Even if you do a conscious effort and avoid tea bags, you can at least contribute to this cause and breathe in a little better environment.