There’s been news recently about the amount of plastic in the glue that holds teabags together. Co-op is working with its suppliers to develop a plastic-free teabag that will help reduce the 9 tonnes of plastic from teabags that ends up in rubbish and compost collections annually.
Now, we’re all for limiting plastic wherever we can. But, when almost 5,000,000 tonnes of plastic is used each year in the UK (see WRAP), even if every single teabag became plastic-free, 9 tonnes amounts to little more than a rounding error.
By all means go ahead with this technology but perhaps, in the meantime, teabag manufacturers could instead remove the plastic from around the boxes. Or supermarkets could promote loose leaf tea as the greener option? Or refuse to sell those posh teabags that you think are made of silk but are actually made of nylon, and linger in your compost forever.
Unless this glue is so toxic that we shouldn’t be using it for other environmental reasons (which presumably it isn’t considering it’s being dunked in a food product), perhaps we can all agree to buy a teapot while we wait for the technology to brew.