Clipper to launch plastic-free tea bag made from bananas

They're also unbleached and non-GM

Sarah Young
Thursday 01 November 2018 09:48 GMT
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

One of the UK’s biggest tea brands is launching a plastic-free tea bag, instead switching to a new material made from bananas.

As the UK becomes increasingly aware of the damage that plastic is causing to the planet, more and more of us are looking for ways to cut down on single-use and that includes the type of tea bags we’re using.

This is because a number of leading tea brands use polypropylene, a sealing plastic, to fasten the tea bags and ensure that they hold their shape.

To tackle the problem, Clipper Teas has developed a new product designed specifically to help cut down on plastic pollution; a plastic-free, unbleached and non-GM (genetically modified) tea bag, which it claims to be a world first.

The company announced that, as of 20 October, it has moved all production to a new type of tea bag that, instead of the plastic polypropylene seal, will use natural plant-based materials.

The tea bags will be made using a blend of abaca, which is made from a species of banana plant, and a biopolymer made from a non-GM plant material known as PLA.

The new tea bags are already in production (Clipper)
The new tea bags are already in production (Clipper)

They will also be biodegradable and compostable to industrial standards, meaning that they can be put into the food waste container provided by your local council and commercially composted after use.

The new tea bags are already in production but Clipper has said there will be a “transition period“ while shops sell through its current stock.

The Fairtrade Company isn’t the first to introduce a plastic-free tea bag.

Earlier this year, PG Tips and the Co-op announced that they both plan to switch to biodegradable tea bags by the end of 2018.

Which, given that 60.2 billion cups of tea are consumed per year and 96 per cent of us choose tea bags over leaves, will mean far less plastic will end up in landfill or polluting the oceans ever year.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in