Press release: Thousands of Barry’s drinkers steaming about plastic in tea


Hundreds of Barry’s drinkers have barraged the iconic brand on Facebook for refusing to address calls to stop using plastic in tea bags. [1] Over 9300 people have signed a petition on Uplift by former Barry’s enthusiast Lisa Quinn, calling on the tea company to do their bit to tackle the escalating plastic waste crisis. [2]

“I’ve been throwing my tea bags into the compost for years,” said petition starter Lisa Quinn. “When I found out I was polluting our soil and our water with microplastics, I was really disappointed with Barry’s.”

“I’m sick of big companies being so irresponsible, and expecting everyday people to pick up their slack.” said Lisa.

“When I contacted Barry’s, they told me to cut open my tea bag, empty the leaves into the compost, wash and dry the tea bag and put that in the recycling bin. It’s absurd!”

Barry’s have responded to petition starter Lisa by saying the technology is not yet in place to make plastic free tea bags. However, rival tea brand Lyons have already committed to going plastic free by the end of 2018.

The plastic waste crisis is escalating internationally, with people worldwide appalled by exposes on the toxic waste amassing in our oceans, our food, and our drinking water. Just last year it was found that 72% of Irish drinking water is contaminated with microplastics. [3]

Lisa started her petition on MyUplift, a platform for Irish people to make progressive change in their communities. Uplift’s campaigning community of 178,000 people in Ireland and abroad have come out strongly in support of Lisa’s call to make Barry’s tea plastic free.

Barry’s has said they are working to remove the plastic from their tea bags, but have not yet said when they aim to have done so.

Contact petition starter Lisa Quinn on (01) 513 3043 for interviews or further comment.

Click here for images.

Here are some of the comments on Barry’s Facebook page:

Greg Long: “Please get with the program and lead by example. I drink gallons of Barrys and I’m disappointed that your product is bad for the environment! I would really hate to have to change to another brand.”

Donal Clarke: “My wife drinks Barrys tea but I do the shopping. I’ll be buying the brand of tea bags that can go in the compost bin wherever possible from now on. It’s up to you whether it’ll be your brand or not.”

[1] Barry’s Facebook page with comments from angry tea drinkers

[2] Petition calling on Barry’s to go plastic free

[3] 72% of Irish drinking water contaminated with microplastics