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Jan 13

Warning: Tea May Contain Microplastic

Posted on January 13, 2020 at 11:01 AM by Natalie Nebilak

TeaPeopleSign All tea bags are not created equal, a reality that Nathalie Tufenkji, a professor of chemical engineering at McGill University, discovered after finding billions of microplastic particles in a sample of tea made with plastic tea bags. That’s right, PLASTIC tea bags. You can read more about her discovery in the link below, but before you swear off tea altogether here are some healthier and more environmentally friendly options for your daily cup.


The majority of tea bags are made with paper or abaca hemp, a product of a Philippine banana tree. While these types of tea bags are generally considered “safe”, watch out for tea bags that use a plastic sealing agent to keep the bag from falling apart (also known as polypropylene). 


An even “greener” alternative to buying paper tea bags is to buy loose leaf tea. You can steep your loose leaf tea by using compostable tea filter bags or reusable tea infusers (those metal mesh strainers that hold your tea leaves). 

So fear not dedicated tea-drinkers; environmental options abound when it comes to filling your cup!


TeaPot&Cup


Sources:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/09/27/these-tea-bags-release-billions-plastic-particles-into-your-brew-study-shows/?fbclid=IwAR1V1xyQowU5D483BK4cEeyTLVG_hDS41P05RyrxGn58KCcLlpzS6q0b6ZY
  2. https://www.leaf.tv/articles/what-paper-is-used-to-make-tea-bags
  3. https://www.countryliving.com/uk/create/food-and-drink/news/a3291/plastic-tea-bags-environment/