Would you like some tea perhaps without plastic in it?
Preparing an infusion does not take long.
You just have to immerse a tea bag in boiling water for a few minutes.
But what are these tea bags made of?
They are usually made of paper with a small amount of plastic, but according to the results of a study, some contain a greater amount of plastic in their composition.
What Are Tea Bags Made Of?
Most of the tea bags that are marketed contain plastic to a greater or lesser extent.
Some of them, such as those used for the premium teas of some brands, are made entirely of plastic, being mainly nylon or food-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
But even paper teabags include some plastic components in their composition.
In the latter case, they usually incorporate polypropylene in a proportion of between 20% and 30%.
A measure that manufacturers take so that the bags are more resistant and do not fall apart when they come into contact with the hot water.
Although in recent years the awareness of consumers, and the concern of society in general, about the health and environmental problems derived from the use of single-use plastics has been increasing, there are still few brands that offer sachets of 100% biodegradable tea.
Thus, as published by The Guardian in 2010, the vast majority of brands marketing tea in bags in the United Kingdom used plastics in their production.
An even more worrying fact if we consider that 96% of tea drinkers in this country consumed it in this type of format.
Once we know that almost all the tea bags consumed in the world contain plastic, the next question we must ask ourselves is this.
When we prepare a cup of tea, does the plastic remain in the tea bag or can part of it pass plastic to drink?
Tea Bags Release Plastic Particles Into The Water
Confirmed: the tea bags release plastic particles in the water of our infusion.
That is the main conclusion reached by a recent scientific study carried out by the Department of Chemical Engineering at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada.
And they do it in very large quantities: each tea bag can release up to 11.6 billion microplastic particles and up to 3.1 billion nano plastic particles.
These figures have raised the concern of the rest of the international scientific community, especially of researchers who are working to try to determine what is the effect of the entry of microplastics and nano plastics into our body.
And it is that this amount of microplastics and nano plastics is much higher than what has been found in many other beverages and foods, such as bottled water, freshwater fish, salt, or other foods of marine origin.
How To Avoid Plastic In Your Tea
There are two ways to avoid plastic when drinking tea:
- Buying tea in bulk
- Buying tea bags that are 100% biodegradable
Both we will go into further detail below.
Bulk tea: The Healthier Alternative
Given the worrying conclusions of the McGill University study, and in the absence of science being able to demonstrate the negative adverse effects of microplastics and nano plastics on our health, the most sensible idea seems to be to dispense with tea in bags.
The easiest way to do this is by buying tea in bulk and using a traditional brewer or strainer.
For tea lovers like myself who love to drink a lot of tea this is the best option.
Anthony’s is one of my favorites bulk loose leaf teas.
They meet all the standards of being eco-friendly.
They are USDA Certified Organic with batch testing and verified gluten-free.
The tea does contains caffeine for plant based energy that is non-GMO & vegan friendly.
Brands That Offer Plastic-Free Tea Bags
In the below section we will go over some of if not the best organic plastic free teabags.
In addition some of these companies do also offer loose leaf variations for those who like tea made with loose leaf.
All of the companies we will go over are organic and USDA certified.
Waitrose Duchy Tea
This company was the first British supermarket to sell organic food in 1983.
More than 30 years they are still going strong with a huge variety of other organic products such as the one we listed here.
This is a brand recognized for its organic food and its plastic-free work, especially for the production of its filter packages.
The brand is highly applauded and recommended by those who already use it.
So it is no surprise this company has one of the most popular in the eco-friendly marketplace for all their intivations in the market.
One of those being in 2015 they created an organic egg box made from a mixture of rye grass and recycled paper.
It was the UK’s first new box that saves 77 tons of wood and paper per year and requires 60% less water to produce than standard egg boxes.
So you can trust that this company is working just as hard as you to protect the environment with their products.
Teapigs Biodegradable Mesh Tea Bags
The product offered is made from 100% biodegradable cornstarch which has taken the tea world by storm.
They make sure you get quality tea, sourced sustainably, and with packaging that’s better for the environment.
The best feature of these teabags are not only that they are biodegradable in 12 weeks.
It’s that these bigger than traditional mesh tea bags allow you to use more natural whole tea leaves, whole herbs, whole berries, whole spices, whole flowers.
The kinds of tea they offer
- black tea
- green tea
- herbal tea
- rooibos tea
- oolong tea
- white tea
- feel-good teas
- cold brew teas
- iced tea pitcher bags
- loose tea
With these all come different flavors for the choosing.
We will add a link below.
So not matter the flavor of tea you like this company can make it happen with their creative designed tea bags.
They also point out that another of the materials with which the tea bag is made out of is Natureflex, which is made of wood pulp and can be perfectly decomposed in your household waste.
Clipper Organic Plastic Free Teas
This company is a fairtrade organic plastic-free tea company.
The great thing about them is they do not just offer regular tea flavored products.
They have a fantastic peppermint blend as well or a green tea if you prefer.
In addition they do offer a lot of the same options as far as different types of tea like the above mentioned company.
Clipper stands out to me as a tea company because they were the world’s first tea company to switch to Plant-Based, Biodegradable, non-GM, and unbleached tea bags back in 2018.
Since then a lot of other companies have followed suit but like most things you always remember the first and not so much who came in last.
Organic Earl Grey Black Tea Bags
This product comes in premium tea bags that are constructed of Abacá Hemp Fiber Paper.
Most importantly they are 100% Raw with no additives.
Their tea is imported 100% raw from China and India and carefully packed in the USA and 100% USDA Certified Organic.
They are free of
- Chlorine bleach.
- No staples, strings, bags, or extra waste
This is an absolute great company doing great things to protect the environment.
Not only that they have a wide range of flavors for you to try including
- Green Tea
- Calendula Flowers
- Dandelion Root
- Nettle Tea
- Spearmint Tea
Only downside we can tell about this product is they are so popular it’s hard to catch them in stock depending on the flavor you like.
Pukka Herbs Tea Brand
This brand is also committed to caring for the environment, which is why they produce their teabags without plastic.
I like this company for their even bigger selection of flavored teas to pick from.
Here are just some of the flavors you can get in their assorted flavor pack kits.
On their website, they note that they do not use polypropylene to hold the packaging together, instead, they use a simple organic cotton stitch and a unique folding process.
In addition all ingredients are ethically sourced and are 100% organically grown ingredients.
They are another company that is another fair trade company and 100% certified USDA Organic.
All these combined to make a great company to support for your tea flavor needs.
With all these plastic-free tea companies we listed we have to rethink our way of doing things.
A lot of the advancment into the products we have in our homes add more burden onto the enviroment.
Sometimes going back to how we did a few years ago like making tea for this example can make a huge difference in our lives and the environment around use.
By consuming plastic-free tea we can continue to enjoy all its health benefits like:
- The antioxidant effect
- The decrease in blood pressure
- Cell-regenerating effect
- Protection against liver, brain, and cardiovascular problems
- Anti-cancer effect
And we will do so without introducing plastic particles into our bodies and without increasing the contamination by microplastics of the environment.
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