null Skip to main content
Environmentally Friendly Teabags

Environmentally Friendly Teabags

Posted by Oliver Pluff on 2nd Oct 2019

Recently, I was asked if the teabags we use are safe for individuals and the environment. I am happy to let you know our Teabags are all natural, non GMO and fully biodegradable and are perfectly safe for you and for nature.

Teabags have been around for over 100 years. The most common story about their invention relates how the tea and coffee shop merchant, Thomas Sullivan from New York, shipped samples of his tea in small silk bags. He intended the customer to remove the loose tea from the sample bags when they steeped it, but the customers found it easier to brew the tea still enclosed in the porous bags.

Sullivan’s accidental discover or any of the other potential invention stories, are nice tales and relate how the ease and convenience made the tea bag extremely popular with tea drinkers worldwide. Consumers decided this convenience was more important than the reduced quality tea used in early teabags. This popularity continues today as over 80% of new tea products launched in North America in 2017 came in the form of teabags.

In recent years the simple single chamber tea bag design has changed. Now pyramid tea bags are very popular. These bags allowed tea companies to provide larger tea leaves in the sachet. This increased quality tea allows the consumer to enjoy the ease and convenience of the teabag  and to come close to the taste and experience of a loose-leaf tea. To help come closer to this taste, manufactures also decided to experiment with new materials for the tea bag to increase the flow of water through the material.

But these new teabags have led to some potential health issues. You may have seen recent headlines reporting the risk of consuming potentially billions of particles of plastic from your teabag. CNN, the Washington Post and USA Today all reported the results of the McGill University Study published in the American Chemical Society Journal Environmental Science & Technology this month.  The study, lead by Dr Nathalie Tufenkji, tested four kinds of plastic tea bags in boiling water, and found that a single bag would release more than 11 billion microplastic and 3 billion nanoplastic particles.  According to the reporting, “The tea bags examined in the McGill study were made of PET plastic or nylon. Often such tea bags are triangular in shape and allow the tea drinker to see the leaves through the bag.”

A couple of customers read these reports and expressed concerns about the teabags they purchased from Oliver Pluff & Co.

There is no need for concern. There is no plastic in Oliver’s Teabags.

In the past year, we have started making our own teabags. The material Oliver uses to make the teabags is a Non-GMO, plant-based product that is fully biodegradable. The producer claims it only takes 21 days to biodegrade if placed in a compost pile or landfill. There is no bleach or other harmful methods used in producing the material. 


If you have purchased one of our bags, you will notice the material becomes transparent as you steep it. The flow properties of our bags allows us to use the same tea that comes in our loose tins, without needing to change the shape of the bag. So, you get to enjoy the same quality of tea with the ease and convenience a teabag offers.

So if you enjoy our tea in a teabag, you can relax and know it is a healthy and environmentally friendly option.

Something to sip and ponder,

~Oliver