To: Unilever and other food companies

Remove plastics from Tea Bags

Remove plastics from Tea Bags

Produce tea bags that are fully bio-degradable/compostable.

Why is this important?

I don't think that many people realise that their tea bags are not 100% paper but contain plastics - usually polypropylene.

Tea bags should be made from totally compostable/biodegradable materials, not just around 80%, as most currently are.

Polypropylene is a plastic and 20% is not a small or insignificant amount when multiplied up by the millions and millions of tea bags used daily around the world. All of these plastics remains un-degraded in the environment.

There have been many campaigns to keep plastics and micro plastics out of our seas, highlighting the harm they do to marine life. But the same is true of plastics on land as they can cause harm to birds and small mammals. We need to keep ALL plastics OUT of our environment.

I believe that it is possible to use another material that is biodegradable - plant or fabric based. In fact, I understand that there is already one brand of conventional teabag which is polypropylene-free made by Jacksons of Piccadilly, so it is technically and practically possible.

Lets make our environment plastic free and fully compostable with a change to the materials used in our tea bags.

Reasons for signing

  • I am shocked that tea bags contain plastics and do not see the need for this. We are eating recycled plastics through fish and are strangling marine life in our polluting ways. There needs to be more publicity about the danger of teabags
  • I do my bit for the environment by recycling correctly and if I'd have known then our used tea bags would have gone in the correct waste bin. Misleading and unnecessary, tea bags can be made using 100% recyclable materials. Good luck with your petition. x
  • I was one of the many who didn't know teabags have plastic in them. I shall be passing this on! Good luck with your campaign.


2017-06-15 21:47:35 +0100

100 signatures reached

2017-06-14 10:34:58 +0100

50 signatures reached

2017-06-13 06:07:56 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-06-12 14:37:29 +0100

10 signatures reached

2017-06-10 08:52:18 +0100

I wrote to Unilever and this was their very poor response:

Hello From PG Tips,

Thank you for your recent reply to myself, Mr Armitage.

Like most of the tea bags in the UK, PG tips tea bags are made with around 80% paper fibre which is fully compostable along with the tea leaves contained in the bag. The remaining packaging includes a small amount of plastic which is not fully biodegradable, this is needed to create a seal to keep the tea leaves inside the bag.

The tea bags can be added to a compost bin and the majority of the bag will decompose quickly adding moisture and nitrogen. If people are worried about the small amount of material that is not fully compostable we would recommend removing the bag before putting the tea leaves on the compost. Tea bags CAN be composted / added to food waste collection and although there is a small amount of non compostable material this is not a problem.