loose leaf team on a series of spoons on a blue background

Welcome to the Ailuna loose-leaf tea action!

Did you know that tea drinking causes a lot of pollution, and it’s not just disposable cups that are the problem…

The vast majority of tea bags have a hidden ingredient: plastic. Polypropylene is added to the ‘paper’ part of the bag in order to heat seal the edges shut. When we brew tea with tea bags, we’re also brewing millions of tiny microplastic particles – yuk! If we add these tea bags to our food waste or compost, we’re putting microplastic directly into the soil.

By joining this action, you’re going to learn how to be part of the solution!

Five reasons to switch to loose-leaf:

  1. No microplastics in your cuppa
  2. Less waste in your bin
  3. Better for the environment
  4. Choose the quality of your tea leaves
  5. Save money   


How can I tell if my tea bag contains plastic?

To put it simply, if your favourite brand isn’t shouting about being plastic-free, it probably contains plastic. It’s not just fancy nylon pyramid bags – most standard bags contain hidden polypropylene fibres in the ‘paper’ part of the bag. Check around the edges of your bag: if you see crimping, or can’t work out how the bag is held shut, it is likely to be heat-sealed by melting the plastic layer.

String-and-tag bags are the most likely to be plastic-free, as they are usually closed with a stitch or a staple. However, the string may be synthetic fibres, and some string-and-tag bags are made with polypropylene and heat sealed. Check for crimped edges!

It’s also worth bearing in mind that ‘plastic-free’ tea bags are usually made from plant plastics such as Polylactic acid. This can contain genetically modified material, and although it is ‘biodegradable’ it won’t usually break down in garden compost heaps.

Standard ‘pillow’ bag

Standard round bag

Pyramid bag

String and tag bag 


String and tag bag (heat-sealed)

Luckily, there are loads of great alternatives to tea bags. You can read more about all of these options here.

Options include:

  • Teapot + strainer
  • Teapot with infuser/filter
  • In-Cup infuser
  • Tea-ball
  • Stick infuser
  • Reusable fabric or silicone teabag


Tips & tricks

  • Sign up for milk deliveries in returnable glass bottles. Fresh milk straight to your doorstep with no waste!
  • Buy loose-leaf tea packaged in paper, or visit your closest zero-waste shop
  • Make your own herbal tea blends with fresh or dried herbs


What’s next?

When you’ve finished reading this document, close it and go back to the Ailuna app. If you’re already taking the action, keep going! If not, accept the action and we’ll help you build a great new habit.

And if you don’t have the Ailuna app yet but you’d like to get started with creating some new sustainable habits, you can get it here: