Clipper Teas, one of the UK’s biggest tea brands, is introducing a plastic-free tea bag made from only natural materials. The innovative bag, which the company calls the world’s first plastic-free, non-GM (genetically modified), and unbleached tea bag, is made using a blend of materials including one made out of bananas. The brand’s switch is the latest move made by a major company to make their business more environmentally conscious, as more consumers are looking for ways to cut back on the amount of plastic they use and throw away.

A tea bag may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about plastic pollution, but many bags do contain some of this non-biodegradable material. Polypropylene is used by many major tea brands to seal tea bags and make sure that they hold their desired shape. Clipper’s new packaging, which uses only plant-based materials, is the company’s response to the issue. The brand announced that it had already moved all production to the new and improved bag, The Independent reports.

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The tea bags will be produced using a blend of abaca, which is a species of banana, plant cellulose fibers, and a bio-polymer called PLA. Thanks to that natural make-up, the bags will be biodegradable and compostable. The new version is already in production, but before all Clipper teas are plastic-free, there will be a transition period while stores sell out all their current stock.

Earlier this year, another leading tea brand in the country, PG Tips, announced that it would be switching to biodegradable tea bags by the end of 2018.

The amounts of plastic found in tea bags may be small, but, like all small pieces of plastic, they accumulate and add to the already overwhelming problem of plastic pollution. This is especially true due to the amount of tea bags used and thrown away every day. According to the UK Tea & Infusions Association, the British drink 162 million cups of tea a day, which amounts to 60.2 billion cups per year. What is more, 96 percent of those cups of tea are brewed from tea bags, as opposed to loose tea, which makes Clipper’s move away from plastic even more important and sure to bring a difference.

If you want to make a difference and cut the amount of plastic in your life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.

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Image source: Skitterphoto/Pixabay

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