If you want to have a completely plastic free teabags you can go with one of two options. First option, is to buy ready-made compostable teabags without plastic (made of paper or corn starch). The other option is to buy loose tea and to brew it using refillable, compostable tea bags like this one.
In this article we’ll explore both options and the eco-friendly products available for each one.
Option 1: Ready-filled tea bags without plastic
Tea is the most popular drink in the world with over 84 billion cups drank in the US alone each year. Many don’t even think about the environmental damage their tea cuppa causes. But with most tea bags being made and packed with plastic, the impact is very high given the quantities used.
Luckily enough, a few brands decided to introduce plastic-free tea bags in some or all of their products. Buying compostable tea bags without plastic has a few advantages over loose tea.
- Less messy – unlike loose tea, you don’t need to deal with the tea at all, no cleaning, no spooning, just brewing the tea straight from the package.
- Saves time – Since the right amount of tea is already packed and ready for brewing, it takes less time than to measure teaspoons and fill it to the bag.
- Cleaner – Since the tea bags are compostable, after your cuppa is finished you can just through them in the garbage or in the compost bin.
Most Popular Plastic Free Teabags Without Plastic
1. Clipper everyday teabags without plastic
Clipper everyday brand tops the list as they claim they were the first to produce tea bags without plastic. More than that, each Clipper teabag is unbleached, organic, Fairtrade, plastic free and non GMO.
Clipper everyday teabag is made from abaca, a form of banana plant with a natural adhesive to bond it together. It is great tasting tea and probably the most common teabag without plastic in the world. Be warned though, only Clipper string and tag tea bags are plastic free, the square bags are not yet.
What the reviews say?
An all-time classic. Clipper is adored around the world and now with it’s full set of ethical credentials, it’s hard to see anything topping it.
2. Traditional Medicinals organic plastic free
Traditional Medicinals organic, plastic free teabags are especially eco-friendly. Not only they make teabags without plastic, but they also produce them with renewable energy. The tea itself is 100% organic. A few different flavors are avilable.
Reviews for Traditional Medicinals tea are extremely positive. People really appreciate the quality of this brand and attributes it with medical virtues. A reviewer said it changes his life! Other than that, a few buyers said the flavor wasn’t strong enough to their liking.
3. Teatulia Organic Breakfast Black Tea
Teatulia Organic Teas is a brand with a very environment-friendly orientation. The teabags are plastic free and so is the package (also compostable). The tea leaves are made in northern Bangladesh and are USDA-certified organic. These teabags are also low on caffein (half the amount you get in coffee).
Reviewers love how green and eco-friendly Teatulia Organic Teas is. Negative reviewers only mention they didn’t like the taste very much, which is a matter of personal taste.
4. Zest Tea Energy Hot Tea Teabags Without Plastic
Zest Tea is great for eco-friendly consumers who like coffeine but don’t like coffee (the teabags contain just as much caffeine as coffee). The teabags are made of Soilon which is a form of corn starch.
Reviewers are very fund of these tea bags as they are plastic-free. Some said they completely shifted from coffee drinking Zest Tea high-coffeine chai instead.
5. Pukka Teabags Without Plastic
Pukka is another big name that makes this list as having teabags without plastic. Pukka tea uses a simple fold and stitch method of sealing their bag and were the first to do so. The teabags do come in a small envelope which contains a small amount of plastic. Pukka says it is so thin though that it can still be recycled alongside paper without causing any problems. It is also organic and Fairtrade which is positive.
4.5/5 Great tea but some reviews point out it is Pukka Chamomile is actually “Golden Chamomile” which contains Licorice so watch out for that!
6. T2 Plastic Free Teabags
T2 tea bags recently made the switch to teabags without plastic after consumer pressure. It is great to see a company responds to the upsurge in green consumers and they are now making teabags out of corn starch.
Like others, though they do use plastic in the packaging so whilst the tea bag is plastic free, the box is not.
What the reviews say?
4.5/5, T2 is a well-established brand and they know their market well. Very little to dislike in terms of flavor or production.
7. Teapigs Teabags Without Plastic
Teapigs teabags are a little unconventional but their plastic free teabags are some of the best around. The teabags themselves are made of corn-starch, the strings, labels and all of the packaging is sustainably sourced and can be recycled.
There is very little to complain about Teapigs and they were the first teabag certified as being “Plastic Free”. They are a little more expensive than others here but are one of the best so it is a tricky decision for the eco-friendly consumer.
What the reviews say?
4.5/5, Teapigs is relatively new to the US market but is taking it by storm with a lot of happy customers.
8. Lipton Quality Black Tea Teabags Without Plastic
These Lipton tea bags are a bit of a surprise addition to the list. They are made from hemp and cellulose fibres so are purely natural.
Lipton tea bags is sustainably sourced and certified by the “Rainforest Alliance” so the tea itself is also ethically produced which is great news for the eco-conscious green consumer! It is also one of the easiest to find in shops and one of the cheapest too.
What the reviews say?
Most reviews regard this as a solid, everyday tea. Pretty unspectacular but not bad. Not at the premium end of the market but a solid performer.
9. Twinings pyramid tea bags without plastic
Twinings pyramid tea was plastic free since its launch in 2014. It is easier to make pyramid-shaped teabags without plastic than any other type as it is only bonded at the tip of the pyramid shape.
However, each teabag does have a label that does have a thin layer of plastic on it and the inside of the packaging also has non-recyclable plastic so whilst the tea itself is plastic free the packaging is not.
What the reviews say?
5/5 Not hugely common in the US but an English classic and one that has legions of fans around the world.
Option 2: Refillable tea bags for loose tea
You don’t have to buy teabags without plastic to enjoy plastic-free tea. You can always buy loose tea (like this one by T2) and put it through a strainer or put it into a reusable compostable bags or infuser.
Advantages of loose tea and compostable tea bags:
- Loose tea is fresher and stronger tasting than bagged tea so you need less of it which makes it go further.
- It also has undergone less processing and so less energy overall has been used to make it!
- The thing to be careful with though is that loose tea often comes in plastic packaging. One that doesn’t though is T2.
- Some stores let you fill your own bag with loose tea which is the best option but if not then T2 is a pretty good alternative.
10. BSTEAN Disposable Tea Filter Bags
Bstean tea filter bags are made of paper (wood pulp), biodegradable and chlorine-free. They are mainly suitable for a single cup or a small pot. But a large size is also available for big pots or travel mags. The bags are disposable and not reusable but are made of degradable materials. The package is made of plastic which is another downside to consider.
Most Reviewers of Bstean tea filter bags rally liked it. One lady mentioned it can contain 3-4 teaspoons and that unlike other bags, it does a great job keeping the tea leaves inside. One reviewer mentioned a mild after taste caused by the bags.
11. BetyBedy Natural Material Tea Infuser
BetyBedy tea filter bags can be used for loose tea, coffee, herbs, scented tea and more. The bags are made of paper and are disposable – can only be used once. The bags are made in china.
Reviewers mentioned a changing quality of the bags from one shipment to another. One lady mentioned the bags are not solid enough to hold “sharp leaves” from her loose tea pile.
12. Tatuo Cotton Drawstring Bags
Tatuo cotton bags are very durable. They’re made of cotton so you can use them over and over again, which makes them very eco-friendly. They come in 2 different sizes 3 x 4 inches for a single cup of tea, and 4 x 6 for a large pot.
Reviews are mostly 5 stars. Some people mentioned the bags don’t tie securely enough.
13. Simple Ecology Reusable Organic Cotton Bags
Simple Ecology organic cotton bags are the most eco-friendly tea bags on this list. They are made of organic cotton which is certified for ecology and social responsibility. The bags are made from all-natural material and constructed in a way that is meant to last for years without ripping. Simple Ecology organic cotton bags comes in 4 different sizes according to your needs.
The reviews are very positive among tea makers, both for large pots and small cups of tea. Negative reviews are mainly from people trying to brew coffee with these bags.
14. Tea Buddies Disposable Tea Infuser Sachets
Tea Buddies tea infusers come in big bulks of 100/200/300. They are very popular among eco-friendly tea drinkers as they are made 100% from natural materials. Another benefit they have over other items on that list is the one piece of a paper tab on the end of each string, preventing the bag from falling entirely into the teacup. These tea bags are disposable.
Reviews for Tea Buddies tea infusers are overall great. Some mentioned that it’s hard to tie the bags tightly, but once you do the drawstrings are just tight enough to prevent leaks and the filter does enable the herbal benefits and essential oils to infuse fully into hot water.
15. BEFOREYOU Safe & Natural Unbleached Paper Tea Infuser
BEFOREYOU tea bags are made from a thin paper. They are disposable but compostable. These bags come in a big pack of 400 tea bags and you can choose the size suitable for your needs.
Reviewers seem to really like BEFOREYOU tea bags. While the bags are made of thin paper they can withhold big amounts of teaspoons. Some buyers mentioned the strings falling apart from the tea bags occasionally.
Make your own tea
Many teas can be grown or made by yourself.
Lemon and ginger, mint, chamomile, rose or a mixed blend can easily be made by steeping the ingredients in hot water.
You may even find new combinations to try and end up with your own unique brand. It’s easy, fun and about as eco friendly as you can get!
There are lots of small independent tea producers making eco friendly tea at a small scale. It is usually much cheaper for small manufacturers to make teabags without plastic.
Have a look in your local area and see if you can find some. You will not only be helping the environment but you will be supporting your local shopkeepers and your local economy too!
Tea bags without plastic are not common enough
Plastic free tea is a tricky area but there are good options on this list.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers claim to still be working on developing plastic free teabags which is a poor excuse given how many plastic free ones already exist.
There is no new technology required, only copying what has been done already. As green consumers, we should all choose the eco friendly ones when we can to show these companies what customers demand.
Just check the one you choose is plastic-free and, if you can, buy it in person to save the packaging and shipping.
One final tip
More eco-friendly kitchen products
Last update on 2020-01-25