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Thread: News story about plastic tea bags shedding billions of bits of plastics.

  1. #1
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    News story about plastic tea bags shedding billions of bits of plastics.

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    News story here

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/27/h...3Gcg4WxJ3kDlTw

    Plastic tea bags are shedding billions of shards of microplastics into their water, according to a new study.

    Researchers at McGill University in Canada analyzed the effects of placing four different commercial tea bags into boiling water.
    Would the ordinary tea bags from the supermarket be OK?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pamount View Post
    Would the ordinary tea bags from the supermarket be OK?
    Can't answer for all brands, but Twinings use paper for their teabags.

    Based on a study of precisely one variety of teabag, Twinings Darjeeling, that being the least awful option available at the supermarket when I run out of real tea from my usual supplier.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    Can't answer for all brands, but Twinings use paper for their teabags.
    I'm sure the brands I buy use paper teabags.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    Can't answer for all brands, but Twinings use paper for their teabags.
    That's true for their main lines. Perhaps not for some specialty stuff:

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/which-teab...092542702.html
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    Senior Member Beanz.'s Avatar
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    This article from July has some additional information, it is based on the UK market but included a couple of brands seen locally

    https://www.countryliving.com/uk/cre...s-environment/

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    I heard the story on the radio a couple of days ago and my first thought was also "who is using plastic tea bags?"

    Thanks for the article link Barry although it's typically a lazy journalism piece full of "most, some,more" fluff to save any actual research:

    While most teabags are made from paper held together with a plastic sealant, some brands - usually premium ones where the bag comes in a pyramid shape - use more plastic.
    Makes it sound like all triangle bags are plastic when most (that I know of, including the ones were were playing with a few years ago) are made from PLA which is corn starch based with no petrochemical plastic at all.

    But if you want to be absolutely sure your tea is plastic free, loose leaves are the best way to go.
    ...which is how we sell it in BeanBay but the loose leaf is in a plastic zip-lock bag to seal in the freshness and if you choose, might freight in a plastic satchel.
    Don't toss the bags in the ocean please!

    I should also mention... you can't heat seal a paper teabag with a cotton string tag unless it has an amount of plastic in it. If you have paper teabag with a stapled string it's probably paper but even so, it's high cotton content paper and that's a whole other environmental headache.

    Paula and I have a habitual pot of loose leaf tea every night, spent tea leaves go in the garden, no need for tea bags in our house.
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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Note that the research team did not disclose the particular tea brands used in their study.

    In an email, apparently to a reporter, researcher Laura Hernandez stated: "The consumer should avoid plastic packaging, not a specific brand, and definitely not the tea that comes inside. We encourage consumers to choose loose teas that is sold without packaging or other teas that come in paper teabags."

    She noted this is a chance for consumers, like those looking to reduce their plastic use, to be more aware of their purchases.

    "There is really no need to package tea in plastic, which at the end of the day becomes single-use plastic, which is contributing to you not just ingesting plastic but to the environmental burden of plastic."


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