Did you know that when you drink tea, you may be drinking plastic?
Continue reading for a list of plastic free tea bags in Australia and recommendations on how to protect yourself from harmful plastics when drinking your favourite cup of tea.
What are the Dangerous Health Risks of Plastic in Tea?
Tea is enjoyed by many people around the world. The benefits of drinking tea are well documented, but it can be harmful when plastic is found in tea bags. The majority of tea bags on our supermarket shelves are made of a film that contains plastic which can leach into your drink. Drinking tea with plastic may be worse than you think! A study found that one tea bag can release 11.6 billion microplastics into your regular cuppa. Yikes!!
Plastics are used in tea bags because they are cheaper than paper, more durable and can be made in different shapes and sizes. However, this convenience comes with a price: we don’t know what will happen with these plastics after they have been consumed by us!
For the first time, Scientists have just discovered microplastics in human blood as published in the Environmental International Journal on 24 March 2022.
Plastic is everywhere. We find it in our food, drinks, and even in the clothes we wear. The harmful plastics that we come into contact with every day can have serious consequences on our health.
The plastic that we use as packaging for food can release toxic chemicals when heated up or exposed to sunlight. These chemicals are called phthalates and they are linked to chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.
Its a good idea to find out if the brand of your prefered tea makes their tea bags without using plastic. If they don’t, I’d be switching completely to loose leaf tea or another brand below that doesn’t use plastic in the production of their tea.
Why Is Plastic Still Being Used In Tea Bags?
The dangers of harmful plastic in tea bags are not something new. There has been some awareness in more recent times about the dangers of plastic and its effects on our environment and our bodies. So, why is there still so much harmful plastic in tea bags?
There are two main reasons why this is still happening:
1) The demand for convenience
2) The lack of regulation on the use of plastics in food products
One of the ways that we can help improve this situation is us as consumers need to try and make better choices to avoid plastics when making our purchasing decisions. Consumer power can work!
The problem with plastic in tea is that it can’t be detected by the naked eye. But there are ways to avoid this problem, which include:
- choosing loose leaf tea
- using a metal infuser
- buy from a trustworthy company that uses paper tea bags
How to Avoid Harmful Plastic in Your Tea, Coffee or Other Hot Drinks
There are several ways to avoid getting harmful plastic in your tea, coffee or other hot drinks:
- switch to glass or stainless steel containers
- bring your own reusable container for your coffee or tea
- avoid microwaving food or drinks in plastic containers, since heat makes plastics more prone to leaching chemicals into food
- avoid using disposable cups when you are out and about
A List of Plastic Free Tea Bag Brands in Australia
These tea brands are available in Australian supermarkets and don’t contain plastic in their tea bag range :
- Dilmah Organic: only the organic tea range tea bags are free of plastic
- Nature’s Cuppa Organic – paper based
- Higher Living Teas – paper with organic cotton
- Pukka – organic cotton with unique folding system
- Tetley – their stringed tea bags (pyramid and regular) are plastic free
The Final Word On Avoiding Plastic Tea Bags
Choosing loose leaf tea, using a metal infuser or purchasing paper tea bags are a better choice to reduce the risks of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.