This week things have been interesting and challenging. Our milk delivery has started and the milkman also delivers fruit juice in glass bottles, brilliant service and can recommend Milk and more. I am collecting the foil tops and will be sending them off for recycling when I have a jar full.
One of the trickiest switches made this week was weaning our 7 year old cat from his favorite Sheba pouches (not recyclable). I have switched him to tins and trying dry food from Lilly’s Kitchen. Lilly’s Kitchen dry food packaging are all completely compostable and recyclable. The dogs have also switched to dry food in compostable bags from their super healthy plastic tray food. The poop bags I have been using for many years are biodegradable, I usually buy them in TK Maxx of all places.
I went back to Hetu to try their refill washing up liquid and multi surface cleaner, price wise it was a little shock. £1.80 for 300 ml, Ecover is £2.50 for 1L. So not sure I’ll go back for more refill.
Finally this week, tea has been a pressing issue, we normally drink Yorkshire tea. I have discovered almost all teabags contain polypropylene to heat seal the bags and come wrapped in cellophane, again not recyclable or compostable. I’ve been emailing and tweeting different tea companies and supermarkets to find out more and so far have found Brew loose leaf Tea is plastic free including the packaging, their teabags are made from SOILON, a 100% biodegradable material, so you can pop them straight on the compost. Taylors of Harrogate contain plastic – though they are developing a fully biodegradable, plant-based alternative to their Yorkshire Tea bags at the moment. Marks & Spencer tea bags contain plastic to seal the bags. Clipper said ‘the filter paper in our pillow tea bags does contain polypropylene to provide the heat-seal function.’ Dorset Tea bags comprises of approximately 75% cellulose fibres, 25% synthetic fibres for the heat-sealing properties and 1% wet-strength resin. Tetley tea, also contain plastic to heat seal. Tesco teabags are all heat sealed with plastic with one exception, Tesco finest green tea Jasmine 15 tea bags 30g. Co-Op also contain plastic as a sealant and said they are working with suppliers to find an alternative. Sainsburys told me ‘At present all of our tea / infusions bags are not biodegradable. They contain a small amount of PVC in order for the tea bag paper to seal sufficiently. The tea bags used in the TTD new range are biodegradable.’ PG Tips tea bags are made with 80% paper fibre, again with plastic to seal the bags. Twinings said “Environmentally sustainable products and packaging are important to us and we are constantly working with our suppliers to find the best solutions and innovations that can help us become even more sustainable. We have several types of tea bag design across our ranges and ensure that they are predominantly produced from a natural plant based cellulose material and are biodegradable and compostable. Our pyramid teabag range contains no plastic and is fully biodegradable, or if you prefer no bag we also have an extensive loose leaf range”. Teapigs tea bags are made from soilon, derived from cornstarch. Lidl wanted me to give them bar codes for all the products for them to give me an anser, so I’ll be working on that this week and Typhoo and Asda have not responded at all. There are a few companies in London who sell loose leaf tea, Mariage Freres in Selfridges sell tea in tins and are happy to sell it to customers with there own containers. Bluebird Tea sell in tins and again happy to sell to customers who take in their own packaging. HR Higgins sell tea and coffee in a caddy and I am sure would allow you to take in your own pot, they have not responded to my email.
If you have any tips do please share and if you know of any good teas, do please comment.