By the early sixties, teabags were taking over. Many people tried to resist the change but gradually teabags won out. They were easier to use and much less messy. By swirling a teabag around in boiling water you could make a single mug of tea. What a brilliant invention!
But there's a catch. Were you aware of this?
All teabags that are currently available in our supermarkets contain plastic! In general, the "paper" bags are indeed composed of around 80% biodegradable paper. However, manufacturers also include a significant amount of polypropylene which they say is necessary to "seal" the teabags. Needless to say, polypropylene is not biodegradable.
I checked out a recent purchase of teabags - a pack of 180 teabags. Studying all pieces of writing on the pack I found no reference to the fact that plastic is present in those teabags and no reference to any recycling or composting issues.
Over the years, I have put thousands of old teabags into our garden compost, naively believing that the bags were entirely made from biodegradable paper. It is shocking and concerning to at last discover that all teabags contain plastic. This truth should be emblazoned on all teabag packs and not cunningly kept secret from customers. I can only imagine with horror that through composting, small traces of teabag plastic have leached into our garden vegetables. In that sense, I have unwittingly become like one of those tiny sea creatures currently absorbing micro-plastics in every one of our oceans.