Are tea bags really bad for the environment?

There are a variety of tea companies that will brew tea and fill it in a tea bag for convenience. It’s a simple, quick process of heating some water and throwing in your tea bags while it unfolds its flavor. However, many of these tea bags are made out of some form of plastic (via Country Life). Sometimes it’s because of the bag itself if it’s not a paper bag, but also because of how they seal the bag with a plastic known as polypropylene to secure the tea leaves inside.

Additionally, research from McGill University has found that these microplastics then end up in the drink itself. The study, published in environmental science and technology, a peer-reviewed journal, found that just one bag of tea at brewing temperatures released about 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles into the water. “We thought we were going to see maybe 100 or 1,000 particles, but we were absolutely blown away when we saw that there were billions of particles,” says Nathalie Tufenkji, a chemical engineer who was involved in the study Discover.

However, if you love your tea in bags, you’ll be glad to know that not all tea companies go down this route. Country Living reports that companies like Abel & Cole, Pukka Herbs, Teapigs and others are pushing for plastic-free tea bags.

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