Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Straws Suck: joining the ranks of the recycling madwomen

Plastic Free July again. after the last few years, my single use plastic consuming has dropped drastically. This year the focus of PFJ is on plastic straws. I haven't used them since the children were small, and then only for craft projects, so no challenge for me there.

mix your own jasmine tea
My PFJ pledge is to give up using tea bags...a hidden source of plastic. We have all found the empty tea bags in the compost, tea leaves, tags and string are long gone but the bag persists.

It is difficult to track down which tea bags contain plastic, which include an adhesive made from pvc or polypropylene used to seal their edges. This is how the fill your own bags work..ironing melts the plastic to seal the bag. The only way to be sure if your bags do not contain any plastic is to contact suppliers. In the Uk, Co Op Foods with Typhoo removed plastic from their teabag range and PG Tips made the change to seal their bags with cornstarch.

Tea pouches are available, they either  have a fold in flap much like a pillowcase or two holes punched in their open end so they can be suspended over a cup. Infusers come in all shapes and sizes.The options are many, not forgetting the delights of a full pre warmed tea pot.

There are still quite a few teabags in the pantry so I have pledged to collect the tea bags strings to knit a tea bag free celebration scarf.

This is Irene who inspired me  to take on this mission: Her scarves are a labour of love that have involved the whole community and they look amazing.

I see the process as a reflection of the persistence and tenacity we need to address the problem of plastic in our environment. One tiny tea bag at a time.

Irene tells us we will need 2000 strings to complete a scarf. There are certainly not that many in the cupboard so I will cheerfully accept donations.

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