Tea had always been a loose-leaf brew. But there was once an accident, a great one, we must say, and we got the teabag! It’s not just made the tea drinking experience a lot more convenient, but also has become a “cool” thing to use in your day-to-day life.
But we have bad news and good news for you! Which one would you like to hear first? Okay, let’s do the bad one. What your tea bag is made of might be bad for you and the planet!
What are tea bags made of?
Two of the most popular materials used to create tea bags are nylon and paper. Let’s take a look at both and break them down to understand their pros and cons.
Polymer fibres that are used to make synthetic fabrics are broadly classified as “Nylon”. Nylon tea bags are very popular, simply because they are highly heat resistant and release more flavour than other materials like paper. But what’s important to note is that they’re synthetic, and when exposed to hot water, can release chemicals that are toxic in nature.
But are nylon tea bags bad for the environment?
Nylon is non-biodegradable and takes an average of 30 to 40 years to decompose. Its production generates nitrous oxide which depletes the ozone layer. In short, if you’re worried about your choices affecting the planet and planning to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, then nylon is definitely
not the way to go.
When compared to nylon, paper seems like a much safer option, doesn’t it? Unfortunately not. Teabag paper is often treated with Epichlorohydrin, a chemical that’s also commonly used as a pesticide. Just like synthetics release toxins when in contact with boiling water, so does chemically treated paper, and this leads to long term effects like cancer, among other health hazards.
Moreover, paper tea bags are white. They get this colour when they are chlorine-bleached. Though drinking chlorine-bleached tea isn’t as toxic as other chemicals, it obviously imposes long-term health risks. They might be biodegradable but paper teabags interfere with the taste. Have you let a paper straw stay in a glass of juice for a long period of time? It’s the same story
with a paper tea bag. So answering the question, yes, paper tea bags might be bad for you.
Let’s come to the good news now. Now that paper and nylon tea bags are out of the equation, are there really any plastic-free tea bags for us to use? As it turns out, Yes!
Teabag with a Tale
To ‘Get Ausum’ is to care for the environment as much as our taste buds and health. And we don’t believe in compromising on one to get more of the other. While our blends are made up of 100% natural ingredients without any added chemicals and sugar, our tea bags have no epichlorohydrin, making them completely biodegradable.
Ausum plastic-free teabags decompose within 3-6 months and return to the Earth, leaving it as clean as it was found! They’re handcrafted with non-plastic cornstarch by enterprising women who are breadwinners and role models in their social circles. Each tea bag is a tale of the person who has played a role in bringing a dash of Ausum to your cuppa, with love!