Can organic tea bags be bleached?
We do not specifically 'allow' the bleaching of tea bags - it is more that we do not currently prohibit it - making a recommendation that paper is unbleached.
As it is such an integral part of the product, the tea bag paper has to meet food contact regulations. Most of the producers of organic tea bags use either unbleached papers, or papers bleached using a non-chlorine process. This non-chlorine process can involve the use of oxygen, ozone and/or hydrogen peroxide. These elements are captured, recycled and used over and over again, so there is much less risk to the environment than with using chlorine.
We have proposed to allow only Totally-Chlorine Free (TCF) bleaching of card and paper, in the new packaging standards.