The loose-leaf tea has traditionally been sold in paper bags, but in the past two months, customers noticed a transition to plastic, Ziploc-style bags instead. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

The loose-leaf tea has traditionally been sold in paper bags, but in the past two months, customers noticed a transition to plastic, Ziploc-style bags instead. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Downtown Victoria tea shop switches to plastic tea bags

Murchie’s Tea and Coffee says the transition is temporary

A downtown Victoria tea staple has loyal customers questioning its environmental choices.

Murchie’s Tea and Coffee has been in business for 125 years. Aside from its dine-in cafe and bakery, the store also sells coffee and tea both in-store and across the world through its online store.

The loose-leaf tea has traditionally been sold in paper bags, but in the past two months, customers have noticed a transition to plastic, Ziploc-style bags instead.

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The transition, said a Murchie’s spokesperson, is temporary after the original bag manufacturer ceased producing the bags. In a quick decision, Muchies switched to bags used by other tea industry businesses.

While many customers have been upset about the change, Murchie’s noted that the past bags weren’t actually environmentally-friendly because the paper bag was lined with plastic, had a plastic window and had a twist tie top.

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The paper bags also required additional plastic wrapping when being shipped worldwide, since they didn’t seal and extra efforts had to be taken to avoid odor and taste absorption.

Murchie’s is looking to switch to compostable bags, and hopes to have the option available within the next two months.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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Climate changecoffeePlastic BagsPlastic wasteSmall Business