Zero Waste Tea – buy & make waste free tea
Want to know how to become a zero waste tea drinker?
Being British I know that tea drinking is a pretty big deal! Brits consume over 60 billion cups each year (I think about half that figure is my parents!)
I mean who doesn’t love a nice warm mug of their favourite blend…and plastic!?
Yup…I said plastic!
The vast majority of tea drinkers use individual bags to brew their favourite blend. It’s quick and convenient.
However, a lot of teabags actually contain small amounts of plastic to stop them falling apart.
So, you may have thought that teabags could be composted but actually the bags themselves are made of up to 30 percent polypropylene. That’s a plastic that will not decompose and should not be composted.
More and more people are looking to become as waste free as possible so it makes sense to look at the habits that we can change pretty easily. Take a look at our 50+ zero waste swap checklist.
This drive to become waste free is awesome and needs to be encouraged so we’ve put together a quick guide to get you zero waste tea drinking…
How to make zero waste tea…
There are a few steps we can take to make sure that we’re ridding our planet and our body of plastic teabags and the packaging their supplied in.
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Buy loose tea.
Probably the easiest way to zero waste tea guzzling is to buy loose tea leaves in bulk.
We buy Organic Fairtrade tea as many others have been found to contain pesticides above approved levels. Look for USDA in America and Soil Association logos in the UK.
Companies who sell zero waste tea
If you can find a local shop that sells loose tea then buy there…otherwise you can order online:
The American company Arborteas sells Fairtrade organic loose tea leaves in compostable packaging. They can actually be composted in your garden compost heap! How amazing is that!
If you’re in the Europe (and the UK) then have a look at Jardins De Gaia
In the UK you can buy beautiful teas from The Guilded Teapot.
To my knowledge these companies all pack their tea leaves in paper bags but please check there have been no changes before you order or add a delivery note asking for zero waste packaging.
When your tea arrives decant it into your own jars so that it stays fresh.
Tea strainers for zero waste tea
Tea strainers come in a few different forms:
The sit on the cup strainer.
These tea strainers are designed to rest on the edge of your mug or tea-pot while your tea brews.
They’re great as there’s not much chance of escaped tea leaves given it’s solid structure.
You literally add some tea leaves or herbs pour your water over the top and allow to stew until the desired strength is reached.
Then you can tip your plastic free tea leaves in your compost and enjoy your zero waste tea with a happy conscience.
The ball strainer.
In all honesty I think this type of tea strainer is pretty useless. In my experience, the catch often comes loose in the mug leaving tea leaves floating around.
Personally I’d avoid them as it’s best to buy something that’s built to last.
The reusable fabric strainer.
What about a reusable fabric strainer!?
I’ve not tried these myself but I can’t see why they wouldn’t work. Perhaps slightly harder to clean than a steel strainer not take up less space.
If you often make tea for a lot of people then consider a tea-pot with a built-in strainer or one you can balance on top like in my first link.
It will save you having to strain your blend separately into each mug.
Zero Waste Tea On The Go
If you’re a big infusion drinker then you could look at purchasing a travel mug with built-in strainer (especially if you buy takeaway drinks regularly).
Grow your own zero waste tea
Obviously, by far the best way to drink zero waste tea is to grow your own.
Not only is it great for local wildlife but it’s packed with nutrients.
You only need a window sill or a small pot outside to be able to grow some delicious herbs.
They’re great for adding to food and make the most amazing teas.
Mint is great for stomach pains and ginger brilliant if you have a cold or flu.
Give it a go!
We hope you’ve found our zero waste tea guide helpful.