Did you know that all of Turmeric Teas packaging, including the tea bag itself and the outer pouch is biodegradable?
With climate change looming around the corner, I know many of us are wondering how we can make changes in our daily lives. From being more conscious about our recycling and composting to buying less plastic - small changes can make a world of difference.
The latest report published by The UN in May, states that 1 million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction (Tollefson, 2019). This rapid decline of our natural world is guaranteed to have grave implications for human existence.
Making small changes such as choosing biodegradable packaging at the store and bringing your own containers/bags can greatly reduce your carbon footprint compared to buying the conventional stuff.
A scary statistic that I found the other day was: each square mile of ocean contains at least 46,000 pieces of floating plastic (Facts and figures on marine pollution, 2009). Plastic once it disintegrates forms micro-plastics, and this combined with pellets litter our beaches and can even enter the human food chain through sea life. This is scary to imagine for our children, who will have to deal with the consequences!
Turmeric Teas to the rescue!
Luckily, Turmeric Teas is here to help. With the purchase of each Turmeric Teas product, you can rest assured that our packaging will not contribute to the problem of marine pollution.
Our outer pouch is manufactured by ROOTREE, a company committed to sourcing the highest quality products with sustainability in mind.
The packaging rivals any conventional packaging, and it does not sacrifice appearance or durability.
The biggest advantage of ROOTREE’s packaging is that it is compostable within 8 months, whereas conventional plastic polymer packaging takes hundreds of years to decompose.
The outer pouch holding our tea bags is waterproof and is durable enough to protect the product while still being biodegradable. It is composed of two layers for the gloss or matte finish, and of three layers for the metallized finish.
The layers of the packaging are composed of wood pulp cellulose, and a starch-based polymer made of corn. Polymers are molecules that are basically made of many repeating units. The first layer is composed of wood pulp cellulose, which is derived from wood. The wood is sourced from suppliers that follow renewable forestry practices, assuring the longevity of our forests. The second layer is composed of starch-based corn polymer, which is derived from non-GMO corn, making the corn grown with any pesticides.
What about the Tea Bag?
Another perk of Turmeric Teas’ packaging is that the tea bag itself is biodegradable too! Not only is this great for the health of the environment, it is great for our health too. Many plastics leach out chemicals once they come into contact with food. One study found that out of 450 plastic products tested, 70% of them released chemicals that mimic the hormone estrogen! Isn't that crazy? A hormone imbalance of testosterone and estrogen can have serious complications for out health.
The mesh for our tea bags is made just from corn starch. No plastic or gross stuff! Here is a quick breakdown of how the woven corn starch mesh is made. Corn starch is broken down into glucose (sugar) by an enzymatic reaction, and then fermented into lactic acid by the bacteria Lactobacillus. Did you know Lactobacillus is the friendly bacteria that lives in our gut? It is commonly found in fermented foods and yogurt! In the final step, Lactic acid is condensed into polylactic acid, which forms the woven mesh for the tea bag.
These polylactic acid filaments are perfect for loose leaf teas, because of their great permeability. Since the mesh for our tea bags is naturally derived, it contains no endocrine disruptors. The endocrine system in our body is a set of glands that secretes hormones.
The mesh that makes up our tea bags is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal! This allows for our teas to have a great shelf-life, and protects them from any bacterial or fungal contamination.
Once you take a sip of your first Turmeric Tea, you won't go back! But after the tea bag serves it purpose, it can be broken down by microorganisms from the environment. The mesh is first broken down into lactic acid, then the lactic acid is broken down into carbonic acid gas and water.
Unlike plastics, the generation of carbonic acid gas and water from lactic acid does not generate any harmful gases such as dioxin.
Dioxin is a persistent environmental pollutant. It is a highly toxic compound and accumulates in our food chain - mainly in the fatty tissue of animals because it dissolves in fat.
According to WHO, dioxins can cause reproductive and developmental problems, and can linger in the human body for up to 7-11 years (Dioxins and their effects on human health, 2016). This means they can wreak havoc on our hormones and even increase the risk for developing certain cancers.
Every purchase of a Turmeric Tea product will nourish your body and the environment! There is literally no better time to curl up with a book and sip some Turmeric Tea!
Dioxins and their effects on human health. (2016, October 4). Retrieved May 10, 2019, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dioxins-and-their-effects-on-human-health
Hamilton, J. (2011, March 02). Study: Most Plastics Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2011/03/02/134196209/study-most-plastics-leach-hormone-like-chemicals
Tollefson, J. (2019). Humans are driving one million species to extinction. Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-019-01448-4
Author: Valerie Ivanova Food Scientist and Nutritionist | Good Food for Good Intern
Photographer: Kaira Santos