A World Of Good

Conventional Plastic-Free Tea Bags

plastic free teabags

We all want less plastic in the environment but unfortunately a lot of tea bags contain a small amount of polypropylene plastic. This may surprise some of you but until recently it has been an essential ingredient to help the tea bag paper seal together.

But not anymore!

Clipper’s tea bags are sealed with non-GM bio-material made from plant cellulose,  known as PLA.

They are completely free of polypropylene – the oil-based plastic that is so damaging to the environment.  The material we use is entirely natural, industrially compostable and much more environmentally friendly.

a world first for clipper

We always want our consumers to have bags more to feel good about which is why we are so proud to have launched the world’s first plant-based, biodegradable, unbleached and non-GM tea bags. The team in our Dorset factory worked tirelessly to create a new tea bag paper that’s free from conventional plastic but is also unbleached and sticks to our organic principles. That’s quite a tall order.

Firstly, creating a biodegradable tea bag isn’t as easy as you might think. The really tricky thing to solve is the issue of the glue that holds the paper together: the PLA. We needed to find a reliable way of making sure our teabags would stay together in a cupful of hot water.

It took over 12 months to the find the best solution and guarantee a reliable source of PLA that’s non-GM. That last part is essential for our organic products and something we absolutely insisted upon.

After many production trials, we are delighted to have switched all production over to the new paper in 2018.

The Next Step in Green Packaging

Now we’ve developed a tea bag that’s completely free of polypropylene, there’s no stopping us! This enables the used tea bags to be placed into the household food waste bin, so not only meaning the filter paper avoids landfill but also the used tea inside.

We’re also exploring a number of green packaging initiatives, including improving our recyclability and reducing our packaging weight.

Are Your Teabags Actually Plastic-Free Clipper?

In 2018 we were the World’s 1st tea company to make ALL our heat seal teabags, unbleached, non-GM plant-based &  fully biodegradable.  When we first launched these clever new teabags, we called them ‘plastic-free teabags’

When we said plastic-free teabags, we meant our tea bags are free from polypropylene otherwise known as petro or oil based or fossil fuel based plastic.

Clipper teabags are sealed with a non-GM bio-material made from plant cellulose, known as PLA, also known as bio-plastic. PLA is made from bio material, is fully biodegradable & nothing like the damaging oil-based plastics that people are rightfully concerned about.

Now in 2020, the regulations about how we talk about PLA have changed and all the tea companies are going to talk about PLA as plant-based and biodegradable, rather than plastic-free.

So just to be clear, our clever little teabags haven’t changed since 2018, we’re just talking about them  in a different way. Oh and they’re still unbleached and Non GM.

If you want to make a choice that’s better for the planet – then make a switch to plant-based, biodegradable teabags, sealed with PLA.


We want to be really clear about the difference between the two materials

Can I Compost them ? Let’s break it down

Biodegradable means something that nature’s micro-organisms can break down.

Compostable means something that will break down but under certain conditions.

Our teabags are sealed with a plant-based bio material which won’t contaminate your compost heap with petro-chemical residue.

You can pop our teabags onto your compost heap but the British weather might not get warm enough to fully break the tea bags down – but you can sift out any bits left and put them in the bin, on the bonfire or in your food waste bin.

If you don’t have a compost heap, you can put them in your food waste bin.

If you don’t have a food waste bin, get in touch with your council and ask them to make it happen!

We are currently in the process of updating all our information and where we’ve said plastic-free, on our packs, we will describe our tea bags as unbleached, biodegradable & plant-based.

Find Out More

For more information on all of our packaging and the work we are doing, visit our sustainability page. Or to get real time updates why not follow us on Facebook?

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