If you’re using a plastic tea bag, the answer is probably “yes.”
In a first-of-its-kind study, McGrill University researchers have determined that steeping a single plastic tea bag at brewing temperature releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup of the beverage.1
Microplastics are about as wide as a piece of hair; nanoplastics are about 1,000 times smaller.
To conduct their analysis, the researchers purchased four different commercial teas packaged in plastic teabags. The researchers cut open the bags, removed the tea leaves and washed the empty bags. Then, they heated the teabags in containers of water to simulate brewing conditions. The levels of microplastics detected were thousands of times higher than those reported previously in other foods.
To be clear, the McGill researchers stress the microplastic pollution detected in their study came from plastic tea bags, not the tea itself. “We would like the consumer to be conscious and evaluate the packaging that tea comes in. For instance, loose teas come without packaging, while other teas come in paper teabags. Single-use plastic packaging for teabags is not necessary.”
Dangers of microplastics
- Microplastics are now detected in human feces.2
- Microplastic accumulation could trigger inflammation, according to preliminary research.3
- Certain microplastics may build up in organs, compromising the immune system and cell health.
- Inhaling microplastics can lead to poorer respiratory function and liver stress, according to animal studies.
Chuckling Goat offers a range of loose-leaf, gut-friendly teas for every occasion. Take the plastic out of your tea, and stock your cupboard with a range of natural healing remedies for your family. Next time they have a tummy ache or can’t sleep, you’ll be ready!
- Skin Rescue Tea -This powerhouse anti-inflammatory, anti-itch tea contains chickweed, chamomile, nettle, yarrow and calendula.
- Get Me Through the Day Tea – A non-caffeine lift, with the mood-boosting effects of vervain, rosemary, peppermint and mugwort.
- Sing Me to Sleep Tea – A relaxing night time blend of valerian root, lavender flowers, hop flowers and chamomile flowers – safe, fragrant and calming.
- Tummy Tea – Natural care for your tummy, with soothing herbs meadowsweet, chamomile, peppermint and marshmallow root.
- Get It Going Tea – A natural detox tea – dandelion root, burdock root and yellow dock root get your gut moving again.