The Innocent Tea Bag
Many of us use tea bags. They are everywhere and yes convenient, especially for on the go and our busy lives. But did you know many companies use plastic to seal them shut?
Many favourite tea bag brands are using microplastics and have been for years…a new study has found that a single plastic teabag steeped at a brewing temperature of 95 degrees Celsius releases around 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup.
A single cup.
We are estimated to consume over 74,000 microplastics a year, so that means your morning cup of teabag tea could have 200,000 times that?
For many years, teabags have been made mainly from paper, but over the last five years many have been using plastic meshes and a plastic seal, even on paper bags. Applying hot water to that tea bag, melts the plastic and it leeches into your tea. Then, once you’ve steeped your tea bag, and throw it in the bin, where does the remaining plastic go? The tea bag isn’t biodegradable so you are putting plastic into compost and back into the food chain. We tell our children to not take plastic bottles to school, when how many tea bags are used in a day?
Granted, not all brands have plastic in their tea bags. But even some silky tea bags have plastic.
What can we do?
- Switch to a brand you know hasn’t got plastic in their tea bags.
- Reach out to your favourite tea brand and ask them. You will be pleased to know at Gibraltar Tea Company, we use 100% plastic free, pyramid silk tea bags.
- Opt for loose tea.
Why is all this worry and change worth it? While it might only be a small amount of plastic sealing each tea bag, you are dropping these tea bags in hot water. And, from all of our research, we know that plastic is more likely to melt and leach chemicals when it is heated.
On top of the concern that you are drinking some plastic every time you have a cup of tea, which can mess with how your body regulates hormones, disposing of the tea bags also means we are adding to the plastic problem. While often tea bags seem like they can be composted, if they actually contain plastic, they shouldn’t be composted. By accidentally incorrectly putting tea bags that do contain plastic in the compost you are adding small amounts of plastic to the compost, which will introduce these chemicals back into the food chain as plants absorb them from the soil as they grow.
So, next time you want a nice, relaxing cup of tea, think about it and opt for one that is free of plastic and better for your body and better for our world.
Try Gibraltar Tea Company loose leaf and 100% plastic free tea bags for a week and feel the difference- calming, detoxifying and natural for your hormones.