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Although a majority of tea bags are made from paper, some brands have been manufacturing plastic tea bags. Recent studies have found that opting for plastic tea bags are not only harmful to the environment, but to the body as well. Steeping plastic tea bags releases billions of microplastics, or tiny plastic particles into your cup. However, not many people know that plastic tea bags contain microplastics.
Microplastics are small pieces of non-biodegradable plastic. Not only does it contribute to excess waste in the ocean, they are now being ingested. Although there is no evidence that directly links health issues and microplastics, ingesting them could potentially lead to developmental issues or future health problems. Now, studies show that microplastics found in plastic tea bags are far greater than microplastics found in food.
Many tea brands manufacture plastic tea bags made out of polypropylene. Polypropylene is a sealing plastic, which seals the tea bag and keeps its shape after brewing in hot liquid. The American Chemical Society (ACS) found that steeping a single plastic tea bag at brewing temperature (95°C) releases billion of microplastics and nanoplastics into a cup of tea.
Although there are tea brands that use plastic tea bags, a greater number of brands are mainly using paper tea bags. In addition, they are opting for organic, biodegradable alternatives that are environmentally friendly. For instance, some brands use organic cotton or corn-starch with polylactic acid to seal their tea bags without using plastic. Their methods involve mainly plant based materials to manufacture their tea bags.
At Senbird Tea, our tea bags are made from biodegradable corn fiber. It is an eco-friendly and organic alternative for synthetic fabrics. Microplastics are almost impossible to avoid, but the next time you purchase tea, it might be best to opt for plastic-free tea bags or loose tea instead!
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