No More Plastic In Clipper Teas Teabags By The Summer

Clipper tea teacionado

I am a teacionado (I just made up that word) of Clipper teas for the taste and because they are a Fairtrade company.

I pulled apart a Clipper Teas teabag a few months ago and lit a match to it to see whether I could smell the characteristic smell of burning plastic. No smell. Nothing.

So I thought Clipper teabags were already free of plastic.

I mentioned it in a reply to Clipper on Twitter and they said they were working on it but they still used plastic. So I was wrong with my test results. Good to see they are working at it, though.

Now the Guardian reports:

The UK’s longest-established Fairtrade tea brand has become the latest to ditch synthetic sealants in its teabags, amid mounting consumer pressure on manufacturers to help cut down on plastic pollution.

Clipper Teas – which champions the unbleached teabag – hopes to introduce a new, fully biodegradable bag free of polypropylene, a sealant used across the industry to ensure bags hold their shape, by the summer.

Adele Ward, brand controller at Clipper, said: “To help minimise our impact on the environment our aim is to create a teabag paper made from all plant-based material. Not only will it be biodegradable, but it will remain unbleached and adhere to our organic principles. The development of this new substrate, which is completely GM free and 100% unbleached, means it is taking a little more time to finalise, but is a key priority. We hope to have a plastic-free teabag in operation by the summer.”

Throwaway plastic like this can join the growing list of things we are slowly getting rid of – micro-beads, plastic straws, plastic cotton buds (Q-Tips)…

Now let’s get rid of supermarket single-use food coverings. That has to be an easy win.


  1. Tamara says:

    Great to hear about Clipper Tea’s environmentally friendly change of direction here, how admirable.

    I also loveeeeee ‘teacionado’, the word you have coined here. Fabulous, bravo to your creativity! 👏🏻🎉


    1. Thank you. I will now take a bow. Mostly though, it is from being with your creativity – it rubs off 🙂


      1. Tamara says:

        What a lovely reply all ‘round, David, merci beaucoup! 🌸🦔

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Back to butcher paper? But THAT would mean having actual, live staff to wrap the meat, right? Can’t see that happening any time soon…


    1. Back to the days when the baker handed you a loaf of bread, and the butcher cut up the meat without wearing nitrile gloves? 🙂

      There are developments in wrapping materials made from plant materials. My guess is that the technology to produce and use it is there, but the resistance is from packing companies who don’t want to re-jig their machines, and from companies invested in producing plastic. There is though, only one way to be on the right side of history.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. reb says:

    I’ve seen ads for the plant based wrapping. Looks promising.

    I like to have a cuppa every night and just recently found PG Tips in my local grocery store. After all those years [1983] I still remember I liked that brand.


  4. Val says:

    I like their decaffienated tea (when I’m not drinking assam or milk coffee) but I always assume there is some form of plastic even in the ones that say there is none as otherwise, how is do the sides of the bag stay together? What bugs me as much as the plastic is the companies that attach string with metal staples…


    1. Cynic! 🙂 Surely it must be possible. Toilet paper is made to dissolve so as not to clog up the pipes, but paper kitchen wipes have something (not plastic) added to keep them together. I visited a paper factory in Finland and saw them doing it. Machines hundreds of feet long and paper slurry like water at one end and sheets zipping out at a hundred miles an hour at the other end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Val says:

        Oh I’m sure there must be some way of doing it… but have the tea-bag manufacturers discovered it yet? 😉


        1. Clipper promised it for this summer. In the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal. Not as big a deal as this report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation that says that European countries are exporting their recyclable waste to Asia, and it is not being recycled, but dumped.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Val says:

          Yeah, that was shocker! I’m on rural Wales and here the council won’t even collect plastic bags anymore, so it all goes directly to waste, but the knowledge that some stuff that is intended to be recycled isn’t being anything of the sort is beyond appalling.


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