It wasn’t until I did a week of zero waste that I realised how much my obsession was impacting the environment. Most of the tea bags in Australia are actually made of plastic. The box generally has a layer of plastic packaging to keep the leaves fresh, tea bags are often individually packaged and the bags themselves are even sealed shut using plastic! Heart breaking.
I made a more conscious effort to swap to plastic-free tea. At first it was lonely, my go-to loose leaf provider T2 uses plastic packaging in all of their loose leaf boxes. But, lucky for me most bulk food stores stock loose leaf tea so you can just BYO your own jar and run home to your diffuser for a big cup of tea.
Thankfully my friend Lee, founder of Little Wildling Co also feels as strongly as me about both tea and plastic and has just released a range of tea bags that are completely plastic free.
When I spoke to Lee recently about why she decided to create the range this is how it went down.
While I will always love the ritual of making tea with our loose leaf range where it makes you slow down for a few minutes to enjoy the process, I also get that sometimes you're in a hurry and just need to pour and go. That you don't want to worry about the mess or you're on the run in between meetings... or that some people just gravitate towards tea bags more. I get it because sometimes that person is me!! I love love the convenience of them and also how gorgeous they are!
The other (huge) reason was because I couldn't find any tea bags I loved that were organic, locally made but also free of plastic, glue, and other hidden nasties - it was practically impossible. The worst thing is that a majority of people don't know how much of that is hiding in their box of tea bags they got from the supermarket - because why would you suspect it to be there?
Luckily there's more and more education pieces out there now about what to look out for which is great. I always encourage everyone to flip the packaging around to see where products are made, whats in it, is it biodegradable and are there any flavouring and preservatives in there - because if there is, put it back where you found it!
Did you come across many hurdles when creating the range?
There were so many hurdles creating the range that it took over 15 months to perfect and it nearly killed me!! Creating something that doesn't comprise on anything (the environment, taste, looks etc) isn't easy - and it may be a couple of dollars more that the big brand varieties - but once you taste and see them you will see that they are worth it. Another tip for the tea bags is you can use more than once, I often use the same bag twice as the second brew (which I let sit for a few minutes longer) has a different taste profile and I still get all the delicious benefits from.