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As another example of business taking plastic pollution seriously, the Co-op has announced that its own-brand teabags are now completely plastic free.

It is common practice by tea companies to use a small amount of polypropylene plastic to seal individual tea bags and help them hold their shape. The use of polypropylene is also used as a defense against the tearing of the bag and the leaking of contents. One criticism of this practice concerns how the tea bags are not fully biodegradable as a result.

The Co-op is being hailed as the ‘first retailer‘ to develop a fully-biodegradable paper tea bag. In the process, they have removed all uses of polypropylene plastic, instead depending on a new process that employs a heat seal to perform the same role. It is being speculated that this move could stop approximately nine tonnes of plastic being sent to landfill annually.

The brand in question is the Co-op’s fairtrade 99 blend.

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