PG tips has confirmed it will soon remove all plastics from its tea bags after thousands signed an online petition demanding the change.
The top tea firm announced the change on Wednesday, saying it aimed to make all its tea bags from environmentally friendly material by the end of 2018.
PG tips tea bags are currently made mostly with paper, with a small amount of polypropylene used to seal the tea bag, a common practice throughout the industry.
More than 200,000 previously people signed a 38 Degrees petition demanding parent company Unilever “remove plastic from tea bags”.
Noel Clarke, vice president of refreshment at Unilever, said: “Tea is the most consumed beverage after water in the UK with nine billion PG tips tea bags sold every year and after 85 years of making PG tips, we have a great understanding on how brits love their tea.
“The new 100 per cent plant based material we’re moving to is an innovation based on cutting edge science and technology and we’re all really excited that.
“Starting from now, the PG tips that you know and love will come from 100 per cent plant based material from a renewable source that’s fully biodegradable.”
Mike Falconer Hall, organics programme manager at environmental charity WRAP, said: “We’re keen to see the UK’s tea drinkers recycle their tea bags and it’s great to hear that PG tips is helping them to do this with the introduction of their new fully biodegradable tea bag.
“If you have a food waste recycling collection in your area, you can put your used tea bags in there.
“Alternatively, you could pop it into your home composter, however, our climate means it can take a long time to break down, so you may want to sieve out the leftover part of your tea bag and discard it or dig in with the compost.”