Did you know that most tea bags contain plastic?
This is something we discovered only a few years ago. That was a sad day, because we love tea, and teabags are super convenient. Note that we’re not talking only about those pyramid-shaped mesh teabags that actually look and feel like they are plastic. Those definitely are plastic—usually nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET, recycling symbol #1)—and we suggest avoiding them because along with billions of plastic nanoparticles, they leach hormone-disrupting phthalate chemicals right into your tea.
No, we’re talking about the regular-looking teabags enrobed in a soft "paper" pouch. The ones that we used to throw in our compost bin with all our other organic waste. It appears to be an industry-wide practice to include polypropylene plastic (PP, recycling symbol #5) in these standard tissue teabags, which are in fact only about 70 to 80% biodegradable. You can be pretty confident this is the case with the big name mainstream brands, and any brand frankly, unless they say otherwise on the packaging. The tea manufacturers seem to think that as long as customers don't know and make a fuss about the polypropylene addition it's no big deal. Well, we know and it's a big deal to us.
Our solution is reusable teabags for loose leaf tea. You can find them here.
Tea is one of those utterly calming and peace-giving beverages. So raise your mug in praise of peace-full and plastic-free tea!