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Red Rose Tea Bags

 
pollinator
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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The bags for Red Rose tea look and feel very plasticy, but they claim they're made from plant material.  Does anyone have experience with vermi/composting them?  Do they break down quickly or are they an issue?

I've been tearing them open and throwing out the bag, but I'd like to know if I need to do that.  
 
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i do not have experience with vermi composting tea bags. We put them in our compost. When we were using them i wouldn't find them in the compost later on.

However last year I switched to loose leaf tea due to reading about the amount of plastic used in tea bags. Whether it is used to make the opening at the top closed, or to seal the material together, or to just keep the contents from seeping out. Nothing like a cup of micro plastic every morning!!

Loose leaf tea for me please!
 
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jordan barton wrote:
However last year I switched to loose leaf tea due to reading about the amount of plastic used in tea bags. Whether it is used to make the opening at the top closed, or to seal the material together, or to just keep the contents from seeping out. Nothing like a cup of micro plastic every morning!!



For folks who are considering going this route, I recommend a really good "tea ball" infuser.  Most of the ones you'll find are low quality; they don't open or close securely and well, they are made of cheap screen that bends or frays or even punctures you during cleaning, and most of all they just aren't large enough to make a big pot of herbal tea or even enough regular tea for a gathering of friends.  I spent days and days (it felt like) going through Amazon listings of inexpensive, insufficient infusers from China, before I found what I wanted: really robust stainless steel micro-perforated cylinders with solid screw-on lids.  They are like stainless steel teabags, which means I can run them through the dishwasher between uses.  I like the ones where both ends are threaded, but they are relatively small; I also found a much larger one which is handy when brewing in volume.  I've been using these for half a year or so now and they are holding up.
 
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We enjoy Red Rose tea, but it irritates me so much that they use microplastic in there bags.  We remove the tea from the bag and tag, throw them away, and use the tea in our vermin compost, and compost pile.  We are probably drinking microplastic, and I hate that!  Most of the teas that are totally compostable, are super expensive, or not available in our area.  I can't even find loose tea.  I guess I could order it on line, but haven't yet.  This is the info I found when I looked into it, I hope it helps.
 
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I grew up on red rose tea. Not at all a fan lately, I think the tea isn't as good quality as it was, and I hate the plastic bags. They do eventually break down, but are much slower than anything else. I switched to Tetley, which is slightly more expensive but not as pricey as the fancy stuff, and I quite like their english breakfast.

Plus- tetley still uses paper bag without the string and staple on a lot of the bags.



 
Timothy Markus
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Thanks for the replies.  I don't buy Red Rose, but they have it at work and I'm stealing the food waste, so that's why I'm asking.  I usually bring my own tea but sometimes I forget and I drink a lot of tea, so I use what's available.

I think I'll tear open the bags and discard the bag.
 
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how you tell what tea bag is made from? I ve found Publix brand tea very palatable , now I'm wondering what the tea bag is made from. I guess its niave to assume its made of same paper as a coffee filter
 
pollinator
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When I heard about some teabags being a blend of paper and plastic, I nearly choked. I've been trying to eliminate plastics contamination in my food supply. And daily hot water doses of plastic is not my "cup of tea!"

I've had reason to correspond with their customer service office, so I asked directly about the teabag composition. She gave me a very waffly answer (see below).  So I tried the match test. It seems to burn clean. There is a wisp of ash, but it's not greasy or fused.

I remember that years back, Canada posted a report that listed pesticide residues in teas, and Red Rose came out pretty clean.



My questions and the answers exchanged in 2018:

1st email:

I've been reading up on plastics contamination in food products.

There are recent news stories about tea bags with plastic content within the paper, deliberately added to assist in sealing the tea bag. I read today that there is also an organochlorine product, Epichlorohydrin, used to reinforce paper in the food industry.

I'd like to know whether your tea bags use either plastic (polypropylene) or Epichlorohydrin.

Thanks for your reply,

a very long-time consumer of Red Rose tea

response:

There is no plastic in the new envelope paper. It is a food grade coating, much like what is on the outside of the carton to make the carton shiny. It is approved for food contact and is "no danger to human health." The envelope is still biodegradable.

We are not only bound by FDA and USDA regulations, but because we are owned by a German company, we are under strict regulations through the European Union concerning pesticides and herbicides.

2nd inquiry:

So, that is a Yes on the use of Epichlorohydrin?

response:

The answer to your question is no.
 
Posts: 88
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Burn an empty tea bag, if its got plastic in it I would think it will be evident. Plastic melts and drips, cloth burns, chars and crumbles. In other words the cloth will burn and disintegrate and the plastic will burn longer, dirtier and leave a hard residue when put out.
 
pollinator
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Don't know about Red Rose but:

1) the super high-end Smith Tea uses what looks like a plastic bag.  They swear up and down that its not (corn-starch or something), and half the FAQs on their site seem to be answering this question.
2) In general I would accept that a German company has to adhere to higher standards, and that they apply the same standards company-wide.  There is no guarantee of course, but its good business on their part.  I generally prefer products made for French, German, Swiss, Danish, etc consumers because they are very demanding and I know that I get a better product than something that is made for marketing to a US market.
 
Ben House
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Sorry it doubled for some reason..
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