Which tea bags have plastic in them?

In incredibly worrying news for serial tea drinkers, tea bags have been found to contain particles of plastic. Quite a lot of plastic actually.

A new study has found that a single plastic tea bag can shed billions of particles of microplastics – significantly higher than the estimated amount of microplastics particles consumed by a person in an entire year.

Not good.

But not all tea bags are created equal. The good news is that most tea bags are made from natural fibres (though they still may use some plastic to seal the bags). But basic, everyday tea bags are not really a worry.

The problem comes in the fancy tea bags. You know the type – the bags are stiffer, heavier, usually in a little pyramid shape – the teas that you save for your mother-in-law, or particularly intense self-care session.

When testing these plastic tea bags, researchers found that they released around 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion smaller nanoplastic particles, per bag, into the water. Not really what you want to be putting in your body.

Don’t worry – your basic, everyday English breakfast tea bags are most likely made out of paper, so don’t pose too much of a problem. What you need to be wary of is the fancier bags made of a fine plastic mesh.

So make sure you’re checking the labels if you want to avoid excessive microplastics.

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