Do Tea Bags Contain Plastic?
Today, it seems like plastic is everywhere we look.
So have you ever found yourself wondering, what about the humble cup of tea? Do the packaging for our tea bags contain plastic, too?
At Ayusa Tea, we take great pride in offering the purest cup of Guayusa tea. Guayusa (pronounced why-you-sa) is an ancient herb from Ecuador. We wanted to ensure that we found out the implications for our customers of our role in the environmental impact of how our tea is packaged and enjoyed.
At Ayusa our Pyramid Tea Bags are biodegradable and bleach-free – and you won’t find any of those pesky staples. Let’s talk about the rest of the industry, so you can be informed.
Would You Like Sugar, Milk Or Plastic?
So, just how much plastic is there in a tea bag?
A recent study at McGill University in Canada compared four popular tea brands. They removed the leaves, steeped the empty tea bags and analysed the results. And the results shocked scientists and health experts alike.
A single plastic tea bag exposed to hot water (around 95°C) could release up to 11.6 billion microplastic particles and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles into your cup! That’s a whole lot higher than bottled water, salt, seafood (and all the other food and drinks that are often shunned for containing plastic).
Worse again, when these plastic particles make their way to the ocean (which they often do), they can also have adverse effects on marine life.
But it’s important to note that these findings are based on limited information, and more studies need to be done before we can determine the full impact on human health and the environment.
But still, at Ayusa Tea, we can’t help but think drinking plastic should be avoided at all costs.
Where Is The Plastic In Tea Bags?
Many tea bags are primarily paper-based (phew). However, it’s a common practice to use a type of plastic, called polypropylene, to seal them. But turns out, this isn’t the worst culprit.
The main tea bags to watch out for are the fancy pyramid tea bags. They’re often made out of a fine plastic mesh, seeping all those plastic particles into your cup. At Ayusa our Pyramid Tea Bags are biodegradable and bleach-free, our pyramid tea bags are not fancy, and not made of plastic. They are naturally biodegradable.
What About Bleached Tea-Bags?
So perhaps the paper-based tea bags are looking a little more enticing (after all, there’s only a little bit of plastic in the seal, right?)
But here’s the thing: many paper-based tea bags get their white tinge from a bleaching process. And this chlorine-based bleach can also add unnecessary chemicals to your cup.
So if paper tea bags use bleach, and pyramid tea bags are made from plastic, then what on earth can you use?
How To Enjoy A Bleach-Free, Plastic-Free Tea
Choose loose leaf
Focus on buying organic loose leaf tea to avoid any nasties in the leaves themselves. To use a teapot, simply add the leaves to the strainer and pour in the boiling water. Let it steep, pour and enjoy. You also get more tea for your dollar! (psst. We at Ayusa have canister loose leaf tea for the tea aficionados)
Choose biodegradable tea bags
Today, there are a growing number of options for plastic-free tea bags. Pyramid tea bags that are made from plant-based materials are a great option. And the best part? You can throw them in the compost once you’re done. (You can do this with Ayusa bags, it’s easy peasy)
Choose bleach-free tea bags
Shop around for ethical brands that clearly state their tea bags are plastic and bleach-free. If in doubt, shop around and enquire. (Ayusa’s are, we were born like that!)
Choose compostable tea bags
If it’s good enough for your garden, it’s good enough for you. If the tea brand you’re looking at states compostable, you’re in the clear. And avoid tea bags with staples as the metal will not decompose.
At Ayusa Tea, we take great pride in offering the purest cup of Guayusa tea. Guayusa is an ancient herb from the Holly tree in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It’s nutrient-rich, organic and sustainably harvested.
But more than that, we take great pride in our packaging. We have Guayusa in loose leaf canisters which are sustainably sourced and made from recycled materials. Our Guayusa tea bags are biodegradable, compostable, unbleached and free from any staples. Shop now.