What is tea sustainability? In fact, large-scale tea companies that have a global footprint tend to prioritize monetary profit over sustainable environmental practices. To this end, some of these companies partner with independent farmers and, with fair-trade certification, ensure that workers receive just payment in fair work conditions and use environmentally sound farming, packing, and manufacturing methods.
The tea industry has played a crucial role in the economic development of Sri Lanka, which is a major producer and exporter of tea in the world. In effect, tea remains a vital industry in terms of its contribution to national output, employment, and net foreign exchange earnings. Within this scenario, one can safely say that the tea industry is moving towards more environmentally conscious manufacturing processors. The results of such eco-friendly manufacturing practices employed by the tea industry include stapler-free tea bags. Additionally, replacing nylon tea bags with biodegradable ones constitutes moving in the new direction.
Tea bags are typically small, porous pouches that contain dried tea leaves that are infused with hot or boiling water to brew tea. Tea bags are typically made of filter paper or food-grade plastic. In Asia, the term "tea bag" often refers to the paper wrapping or envelopes that contain loose tea leaves. Tea bags essentially work as a simplified tea infuser. They often include a string that enables easy removal and a small tag with brewing instructions. Tea bags are great when you're in a hurry and simply don't have time for cleanup. With the widespread use of tea bags as a new development, we are witnessing the introduction of stapler-free tea bags. It is still too early to tell how the new technology and costs associated with staple-free tea bags will be fully embraced by tea manufacturers. With all that being said, tea bags with staples seem to be widely used as they are inexpensive. Furthermore, the staple is made of food-grade, non-reactive stainless steel and posed no significant risk.
Staying true to their commitment to ethical and sustainable tea production, some tea companies have made all their tea packaging and tea bags biodegradable and recyclable. On the other hand, nylon tea bags are not the most sustainable choice, as most nylon is practically non-biodegradable and cannot be composted. As part of the new developments, paper envelopers, foil envelopes, string and tags, and tagless tea bags are now almost 100% compostable and recyclable.