Is There Plastic in Your Tea Bags?
Did you know there might be plastic in your tea? Read on to learn how to avoid plastic in tea bags.
Exhausted from reading about the dangers of plastics? Then why not sit down and have a nice cup of…oh. It turns out there’s a very good chance you have plastic in your tea bags, too. Plastics are so useful and convenient they end up in the unlikeliest places you can imagine.
Let’s take a look at why there’s plastic in tea bags, and what you can do about it.
Why Is There Plastic in Tea?
The root cause of plastic pollution lies in convenience. As a near-indestructible material, plastic has an insane number of industrial uses.
In tea bags, manufacturers use plastic to give the tea bag its shape. The manufacturing process crimps a tea bag along the edges, sealing it and creating the distinctive envelope.
While tea bags are majority filter paper, plastic can make up 20-30% of a tea bag’s construction.
Is It Dangerous?
Studies have already identified at least one type of plastic which can pose a health risk in large concentrations – and can be absorbed by the body. Soaking plastics of any kind in water, especially boiling hot, should be avoided. Studies are still ongoing all the time with more research released regularly condemning such plastic usage.
What’s the Environmental Impact?
Plastic in tea bags is an inevitable contribution to the environmental plastic crisis we face.
Even home composters have noticed the residual plastic “fluff” left behind by tea bags. The existence of plastic in tea bags makes them unsuitable for home composting.
It also contributes to the vast amounts of plastic that find their way into the sea. Our oceans are slowly becoming a toxic soup of invincible plastics, representing a major threat to our ecosystem. Over time, threats to our ecosystem will become threats to the human way of life.
Macroplastics break down into microplastics. These microplastics often become embedded in animal tissue and build up in the body.
If you like to eat fish or any ocean animal, then you could well up ingesting these microplastics yourself. The tea bag you throw away today could become a threat to your health in the future.
What Can I Do?
If you want to keep drinking tea without changing your habits, you’ll need to look for a supplier who sells plastic-free tea bags.
This might be harder than you’d like, however, as the vast majority of tea bags contain plastic. Buying tea online can make it easier to find an environmentally-friendly brand.
Another alternative is a return to loose tea. We’ve all grown used to the convenience of the tea bag, but a little inconvenience for the sake of your health and the environment could be a small price to pay.
There are still plenty of loose tea leaves and artisanal teas available, so this might even be the simpler option.
Tea Bags Without the Extras
As we’ve seen, even humble tea bags aren’t safe from the tyranny of plastic. If you’re serious about the environment (or at least your health), then it might be time to switch out your tea bags.
Looking for loose leaf teas? Make sure to check out our collection.