Plastic tea bags like this one leach billions of microplastics into each cup of tea, according to a new study. (Wikimedia Commons)

Plastic teabags leach billions of microplastics into your tea

A university study found a single plastic teabag releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics into each cup

The next time you decide to make a gourmet cup of tea you might want to think again.

According to a study from McGill University, a single plastic teabag brewing at 95 °C releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup of the hot beverage.

The study analyzed four different brands of tea and found that plastic teabags release billions of microplastics, such as nylon and polyethylene terephthalate, into each cup.

The microplastics, which are the size of grains of dust or pollen, are then unknowingly swallowed and found throughout the digestive system.

READ MORE: Grab your snifters: Hopscotch Festival returns to Kelowna

READ MORE: Video resurfaces on mysterious Ogopogo Instagram account

According to the study, each cup has about 16 micrograms of plastic – the highest level of microplastics found in any food or beverage item tested for microplastics to date.

The researchers decided not to disclose the brands and said more research needs to be done to understand the potential health risks or ingesting microplastics.

The Tea and Herbal Association of Canada said it takes the safety of consumers extremely seriously, adding the materials used in teabags have been assessed and passed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for safe use under various conditions.

The association also said the majority of tea bags sold in Canada are made from natural, plant fibres.


Paul Clarke
Assistant bureau chief, B.C. Interior South Division
Email me at paul.clarke@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CRD gives temporary use permit for mud racing

Applicants had originally searched for rezoning

Grants for assistance extinguished for independent fire departments within Cariboo Regional District

Ten fire departments will be impacted, CRD-funded and managed fire departments will not be impacted

Bighorn sheep undergoing COVID-like test

‘If only the bighorn sheep knew to socially-distance from their domestic cousins’

Dynamic Reforestation tree planters donate $8,400 to Cariboo food banks

‘Right now I have almost 90 workers in the 100 Mile District’

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read