Made from plants, not plastic.
This article has been flying around my newsfeed and inbox for the past week. So many folks have reached out to me in inquiry of our tea bags that I felt it important to dive deep with y’all and share information about our fully compostable, plastic-free tea bags.
First, the above article is not wrong and consumers should be aware -- there are A LOT of premium brands out there bagging tea in nylon tea sachets, Big Heart Tea Co. is not one of them.
So, let’s take this opportunity to toot our horn. Big Heart Tea Co. has a 360 degree sustainability model. Meaning that we think a lot about every decision we make. From ensuring the agricultural sustainability of our ingredients (we’re certified organic), to reducing our carbon footprint by printing locally on plant based, compostable/ recyclable packaging, to hiring and retaining talent from our local community and so much more.
Our company values put words to what we do everyday.
Integrity: We do the right thing.
Transparency: We are direct, open and honest.
Partnership: We work together to make a difference.
Persistence: We believe in the power of grit, passion and perseverance.
Quality: We deliver the very best through our products and services.
Human: We take our work seriously, but not ourselves. (Mainly because we are so funny and so good looking).
So, in honoring our values (with an extra wink and nod to transparency), please read on to learn about our tea bags.
Our bags are made from a biodegradable woven mesh called Soilon. Soilon is derived from corn starch and can be biodegraded completely. Soilon is a safe, non-toxic, environment-friendly material - perfect for filtering tea and herbal infusions.
How is Soilon made?
Soilon is made of poly lactic acid (PLA) polymer resin by lactic fermentation of glucose, derived from corn starch, by an enzyme and polymerization.
PLA, sounds like plastic. . .
Unlike traditional petroleum-based plastics, PLA is a plastic substitute made from fermented plant starch (usually corn).
How does Soilon decompose?
Soilon can be decomposed rapidly when it is put into compost of organic material but quite slowly when it is used in usual circumstances. The degradation is initiated by temperature, moisture and alkaline material and is completely degraded by acceleration of microorganism after some rate of degradation.
How long does decomposition take?
According to this article, PLA may well break down into its constituent parts (carbon dioxide and water) within three months in a “controlled composting environment,” (an industrial composting facility heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and fed a steady diet of digestive microbes). But it will take far longer in a compost bin or in a landfill packed so tightly that no light and little oxygen are available to assist in the process. Indeed, analysts estimate that a PLA could take anywhere from 100 to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill.
So, are your tea bags safe?
Our tea bags are 100% safe, contain no hazardous substances such as endocrine disruptors (environmental hormones) and are naturally antifungal and antibacterial.