I was amazed to learn recently that the seemingly innocent term “biodegradable packaging” can be a sign that an allergen is involved.
Enter today’s example: Mighty Leaf Tea uses Biodegradable and Green Packaging.
I now know that “biodegradable packaging” is a tip-off for what is most likely, corn.
Mighty Leaf Tea Awarded Best New Packaging at SCAA Show - April 11, 2006 (San Rafael, CA) — Mighty Leaf Tea continues to forge a new path in the specialty tea category as the Specialty Coffee Association of America awarded them “Best New Packaging” for their new biodegradable tea pouches. Made of polylactic corn that is GMO-free, the new silken biodegradable pouches show off the tea leaves even more than the original silken mesh pouches did. Once the tea pouch has been wet, it will begin its course of biodegrading, which takes about a year.
Lucky me, I happen to have a box of Mighty Leaf Tea, Organic African Nectar in my kitchen. What does the box say about the use of corn? The box simply states, “15 individually cello-wrapped biodegradable pouches.” That’s it. Where is the mention of corn on the box?
Be an informed consumer. When you see the words biodegradable packaging, research the nature. You will find this term now in use (along with possible use of corn) in many of the following items:
- Tea Bags
- Coffee Filters
- Disposable Plates
- Disposable Utensils
- Paper Cups (now, lined with corn!)
What can you do about this? For starters, you can avoid using disposable products when there is an alternative option. When drinking loose leaf tea, I use a Finum Brewing Basket, which reduces waste (the reason I purchased it) by avoiding the use of tea bags, and is made with stainless steel mesh and plastic. My husband and I each have one and highly recommend them. I am currently researching permanent coffee filters and will be replacing our use of paper filters there as well.
Do you know of other brands who openly state their use of corn? Please comment and let me know!