Row of teabags

How do you like your tea - with or without plastic?

We all know the obvious things such as plastic bottles and takeaway coffee cups are bad for the environment – but what about those things that aren’t so obvious. Here are 4 things that can contain hidden plastic.

October 1, 2020

Tea bags

Quick and convenient for when you need a refreshing cuppa in a hurry. Unfortunately, several tea bag brands use a form of plastic to keep their bags from falling apart. 96% of tea-drinkers choose tea bags so that’s a lot of plastic going into landfill.

  • The pressed tea bags with the crimped edges contain plastic
  • Most ‘silken’ tea bags are made from plastic (not silk)
  • String and tag tea bags – check your brand as some probably contain plastic for extra strength

Wrapping paper and ribbons

With Christmas approaching, wrapping paper and ribbons may be on your shopping list. But did you know that, although it looks like fabric, lots of ribbons are now made of polyester or plastic, and lots of wrapping paper now has a plastic coating.

Wet wipes and flushable toilet wipes

Wet wipes of all kinds are a huge problem for the environment as they don’t degrade during a flush or break down in the sewer system. They make their way into the ocean and are ingested by sea life.

Beauty products

Many beauty products contain microbeads for a ‘scrubbing’ effect. These microbeads are washed away and into our waterways.

Here are some alternatives you can try:

  1. Tea bags – loose leaf tea is a better option and there are lots of gadgets and gizmos out there to make an individual cup rather than having to use a teapot.
  2. Ribbons and wrapping paper – choose paper ribbons and use plain brown paper or even recycled newspaper and get creative with your parcel decorations.
  3. Wet wipes – use biodegradable cotton wool or a re-usable flannel with your own choice of soap or lotion.
  4. Instead of ‘flushable’ toilet wipes (which, despite the name, are not good for your pipes!) stick to normal toilet paper.
  5. Microbeads in beauty products are being slowly phased out, but in the meantime, avoid products which contain them. Ingredients include polyethylene, polypropylene and polymethyl.

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