Australia is a trusty humble teabag drinking nation, we all know that there is something special about sitting down with a hot cup of tea. That moment of ritual silence and blissful feeling with the perfect blend at the end of a stressful day. Teas can are known to support a wide range of health benefits, however, an issue was brought to my attention recently and I had to research further.
Shockingly this video from the BBC highlighted the growing issue of plastic in most commercial tea bags. Ingesting fragments of microplastics (which is a huge health issue) or washing them straight into our oceans (which is a massive problem for our environment) affects all of us that live here.
This test showed that the copper ammonia solution (which dissolves anything that isn’t plastic) that some organic brands of tea were entirely dissolved. However, brands such as Twinings left a significant amount of the teabag which indicated an alarming level of plastic in the teabags. Further tests, indicated that the teabags contained the non-biodegradable plastic polypropylene, that can survive in the environment for hundreds of thousands of years.
The chemicals used to make the plastic can also affect our overall health and wellbeing. Polypropylene which is still approved for use by the FDA and EPA has a higher heat tolerance than most plastics (less chemical leaching), however recent research has found that some polypropylene products affected androgen hormones and caused a toxic or stress response in cells.
So what can we do?
I’m not ready to give up on my hot cups of tea, so thankfully, there are a few of my favourite organic brands of tea that offer plastic-free bags. Most brands are aware of the impact, so there will be labels on the packaging to let you know it’s plastic-free.
Alternatively, you can look at loose leaf teas. Mayde Tea is an organic tea brand based in Byron who packages their teas in fully compostable cardboard and paper bags or glass jars. I love this option because you can make your own blends and brews, depending on what your body is calling for, and it has the least impact on the environment. Then you can brew it exactly how you like it, in a teapot or in a reusable strainer. xo
Here are some of my favourite brands that do not contain plastic!
- Lipton Quality Black and Intense (traditional tea bags) are made from Manilla hemp and cellulose fibres. They are compostable but not recyclable.
- T2’s new teabags, which recently changed due to customer demand, are now made from cornstarch and are biodegradable
- Pukka’s teabags are folded and stitched together with organic cotton. They’re plastic-free and can go straight into your compost!
- Tielka tea bags have zero plastic content and the fabric is made from corn fibre.
Unfortunately at this time, these tea bags do contain plastic.
- Lipton Green Decaf, Chai and Herbal (traditional tea bags) are made from Manilla hemp, cellulose and thermoplastic fibres. They are not compostable or recyclable.
- Bushells Tea Bag paper is made from Manila hemp, cellulose and thermoplastic fibres, as such, they are not compostable or recyclable.
- Nerada tea filter paper is manufactured using a blend of high-quality manila hemp, which does contain a tiny percentage (less than 2%) of food-grade synthetic fibres. These fibres are used to heat-seal the teabag, ensuring that the tea remains inside the bag while brewing.
- Nerada is currently in the process of trialling a new filter paper made from 100% natural fibres and plan to introduce it into their tea bags as soon as the trial results are successful.
- Madura tea bag filter paper is comprised of 80% natural materials, with the balance being made up of synthetic fibres.
- Tetley claims they continually seek to work with their suppliers to improve and explore the most sustainable production processes and methods. However, as a result of the manufacturing process, Tetley tea bags do contain a very small amount of plastic to ensure the bags remain closed when they are in your tea.
- Twinings use a plastic-based material (acrylic polymer binder) to bind the materials together to create the paper for their teabags.
So all you tea lovers out there, do your best to find plastic-free options and if your favourite brand is still using plastic, please let them know you’d love them to change their ways! 🥰 💙
Gluten-free and vegan mac and cheese? Go on. Loaded with cashew cream, nutritional yeast, and turmeric this recipe will truly mess with your definition of indulgent…
- 2 cups uncooked whole grain, gluten-free pasta
- 2 medium yams
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 to 4 peeled garlic cloves, as desired
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup cashew butter
- 1 cup water, as needed
1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Wash and peel the yams, then cut into ½-inch pieces and steam for 10 minutes or until tender. Set aside a handful of pieces. Blend the rest of the yam with the remaining cheese sauce ingredients until the mixture is smooth and thick enough to hold its shape, adding water as needed.
- Mix the cheesy sauce into your pasta along with the few pieces of yam you set aside, sprinkle on some cracked black pepper and indulge happily! It’s all good!
I hold a Bachelor of Health Science specialising in Naturopathic Medicine from The University of New England. Additionally, I hold a diploma of Naturopathy from Health Schools Australia and a Graduate Diploma of Education from Griffith University.🎓
With over 25 years as a clinician, I’ve worked in my own successful practice based on the principles of functional medicine on the Gold Coast for the last 22 years. I have a high level of clinical knowledge, experience and expertise in the practical elements of patient care and the application of pathology.
Combined with my own personal life experiences, I specialise in hormonal issues, such as thyroid disorders, adrenal health, perimenopause, menopause and reproductive health.🧬
Furthermore, I have a special interest in providing nutritional support and holistic management for:
- Mental Health Conditions
- Chronic Stress
- Fatigue & Exhaustion
- Sleep Issues
- Digestive Disorders
I feel empowered that I can help and support others to take control of their health and start their own wellness journey by providing them with practical tools and techniques to help manage their hormone health, stress and anxiety, in addition to nutritional support and lifestyle advice to help optimize mood, energy and vitality. 🌱
How you show up every single day is entirely your choice, your thoughts create your feelings, start each day with positive movement, mindfulness & gratitude & watch what happens 🙌🏼🤍🙌🏼