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100% Biodegradable Tea Bags Are Coming To The U.K.

By Brian Spaen

There’s many ways to cut down on plastic waste in terms of our drinking, such as eliminating unnecessary straws and not consuming single-use bottles. However, there haven’t been great solutions for tea drinkers. How come? Tea bags aren't easy on the environment, and for the sake of convenience and saving money, many tea drinkers lean toward the bagged variety. And as anyone who enjoys a little caffeine knows, it's hard to stop at just one cup. Luckily, a United Kingdom wholesaler is attempting to fix that problem with a more environmentally-friendly bag.

Over in Europe, tea is one of the most popular beverage. Just how popular? At least 60 billion cups of tea are consumed annually and about 96 percent of them are created using tea bags. Polypropylene is a plastic in the tea bags that keep the product together, and that waste adds up to over 330,000 pounds per year.

The Co-op, a large retailer in the UK, is hoping to curb the problem by introducing a new tea bag that doesn’t have polypropylene. In collaboration with their tea supplier, Typhoo, and a sustainable fiber company, Ahlstrom-Munksjo, they will be heat-sealing their own Fairtrade 99 tea bags and will remain fully compostable.