Why loose leaf is the greener choice
Maybe, like us, you believe that taking care of yourself is important, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of the planet.
Every day as consumers, we’re faced with many choices. Every product has its own environmental footprint and some are far greater than others. We supply mainly loose leaf tea but some of our teas and infusions are available in biodegradable, plastic-free tea pyramids, but whatever way you look at it, loose leaf is the greener choice.
The packaging – or lack of it – is what gives loose leaf its greener status. Creating the pyramids consumes extra energy and resources in production, transport and packing. Then the string, tag and bag need to be disposed of once you’ve enjoyed the tea. It is the same tea in the pyramids and the loose leaf tea so there is no compromise on quality, but with loose leaf you enjoy the tea laid bare, with nothing between you and your favourite blend.
With some of our loose leaf teas, generally those with larger leaves, you can enjoy the same leaves more than once and re-steep them. When the tea no longer gives up any flavour, you can put the leaves in your council food waste bin or on the compost heap. You could also add them directly to flower beds, veggie gardens or potted plants to help things bloom and continue the cycle of life.
So why do we have pyramids? Clearly they are super convenient and there are times, like when travelling, that it makes sense. So if you’re going to have teabags, then the material we have is the best available – at the moment. Our pyramids are made from a biodegradable plant-based material called Soilon which is derived from cornstarch and will break down harmlessly. They will however take a long time to disappear in a domestic compost heap, so the best way to dispose of them is in a council food waste bin where they will break down into water, carbon dioxide and a little biomass within 6-12 weeks.
Be careful when you buy other pyramids teabags. They look very similar to the Soilon mesh bag, but many are actually made from nylon, which will shed micro-plastic and won’t degrade.
Stepping back from the loose leaf v teabag conversation, it’s important to remember that each tea has a history and process before it arrives in your cup, and not all teas are created equal. We work hard to source our tea and other herbal ingredients from smaller producers who look after their people, their product and their planet. And we’re always looking for ways we can do more.
So, when you’re choosing between loose leaf and pyramids, remember that even small decisions cause ripples, especially when supported by an intention to learn and do more, and all our actions make a difference.
If you're looking for other items that help you reduce your footprint, see the Loop tea strainer – it let you take your loose leaves with you for brewing when you choose.
Or, for a reusable cup that means you can enjoy tea on the go, check out the Huskee cup – it’s made from waste husk left over from coffee production.