*SOME environmental activists get worked up about rainforests. Others worry about the plight of polar bears or the perils of rising sea levels.
But for Diana Fox Carney, an economist, green guru and wife of the new Governor of the Bank of England, the issue that gets her really, really hot under the collar is the humble tea bag. She describes the leaf-filled sachets as one of her 'pet hates' and says they are an environmental disaster. "Yes, they can be pretty, and convenient, but do we really need an extra 40cm squared of bleached and printed paper with every cup of tea?" she writes on her blog, which reviews eco-friendly products.
For those millions who adore the convenience of the tea bag, it was enough to make us choke on our Tetley's. So does Mrs. Fox Carney have a point? And are tea bags really doing untold harm to the planet? - news.com.au*
The Scale of the Tea bag Menace
The tea bag was invented by accident more than 100 years ago by American merchant Thomas Sullivan, who decided to send samples of tea to customers in small silk pouches. Some people were confused - assuming that the bags were supposed to be dunked in hot water just like traditional metal tea infusers.
When Sullivan heard what they were doing, he spotted a gap in the market. Thus, serendipitously, the tea bag was born. At first, there were complaints that the mesh of the bags was too fine, so he replaced the silk with gauze. And as tea bags entered mass production, cheaper paper was used...