We use cookies to give you the best personal experience on our website. If you continue to use our site without changing your cookie settings, you agree we may place these cookies on your device. You can change your cookie settings at any time but if you do , you may lose some functionality on our website . More information can be found in our privacy policy.
Please provide more information.
Stylus no longer supports Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9. Please upgrade to IE 11, Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge. This will ensure you have the best possible experience on the site.
Brief Published: 20 Mar 2019

Tea Brands Remove Plastic from their Brews

Each year, UK consumers drink 60.2 billion cups of tea – a large percentage of which are brewed with teabags lined with non-biodegradable plastic. This industry norm is now being challenged by vocal consumers, and creative brands are responding with inventive and sustainable alternatives that could change the tea landscape forever.

  • Banana Bags: UK tea producer Clipper has developed a plastic-free, unbleached, non-genetically modified teabag made from a combination of abaca (a species of banana plant) and a non-GM plant-based material called PLM. The bags are 100% biodegradable and compostable.

  • PG Plastic-Free: In 2018, Unilever-owned British tea producer PG Tips replaced its plastic-lined teabags with a 100% biodegradable version made from corn starch. The brand took the move to remove all traces of plastic in its products following a UK petition that garnered 232,000 signatures and called for it to find a sustainable alternative.
  • Edible Brews: UK fruit-snack producer Nim's has launched an 'edible tea' that serves as a natural hot drink infusion and snack. The teas are made from air-dried fruits and vegetables and are available in beetroot and parsnip, pineapple and kiwi and pineapple, beetroot and parsnip varieties. They've been designed as a healthy and convenient alternative to caffeinated teas, as they're high in vitamin C and fibre.

For an in-depth dive into the tea industry, read The Evolving Tea Landscape. For a broader look at sustainability challenges in the food and drink sector, see Sustainable Restaurants and Plastic Pledge: How Big Brands are Addressing Sustainability.