Mircoplastics are in your tea bags – watch out! We know it is Fall. The weather is cooling down. You are looking to stay warm. You grab your bag of premium tea, place it in a cup of hot water, and the brewing commences. Cheers, now enjoy your herb and microplastic cocktail!
Wait, what!? Yes, that’s right, microplastics are literally everywhere, now they’re in your tea! According to a group of researchers, plastic tea bags are shedding billions of microplastics into your drink. There’s a microplastic storm brewing, and even anti-plastic warriors like us at OkStraw are scared.
Microplastics Impacting Soil & Food
We featured microplastics in previous news articles, but here’s a refresher. Microplastics are any plastic pieces smaller than 5mm in size, and they can come from anything. Microplastics in the ocean come from discarded everyday plastic items that disintegrate, to fishing nets. And it’s not just in the ocean, microplastics are in the soil, too.
A recent survey in the UK found microplastics in soil cause earthworms to lose weight. Earthworms provide important nutrients for farmers, and provide essential crop yields. If microplastics kill earthworms, then low crop yields could cause mass food shortages for the world’s most vulnerable people.
While scientists don’t yet know if microplastics directly harm people, we already know they can indirectly. What’s worse, the average person ingests 5 grams of plastic every week, equivalent to eating a credit card! By now, microplastics should scare you like they do us at OkStraw.
Plastic Tea Bags To Blame
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada made this discovery. After submerging four different commercial tea bags into boiling water, the researchers measured the article counts. When the results came in, the news was astonishing.
Researchers found that a single plastic tea bag sheds almost 12 billion microplastic pieces in a cup, and 3 billion nanoparticles! These numbers are thousands of times larger than microplastics previously found in foods and drinks. We wish these numbers were a typo, but sadly they aren’t
Plastic tea bags are perforated to allow water to flow through the leaves, so there are tons of microplastic shavings remaining. Even some paper tea bags aren’t always safe, because many of them use plastic sealants. So now that you’re downright petrified of your tea bags (sorry!), how can OkStraw put you at ease?
How to Stop Plastic Shedding?
The good news is there are plenty of biodegradable alternatives to plastic tea bags. Buy loose leaf tea, and use them with plastic-free metal infusers or you own paper tea bags. If you absolutely want a ready-made tea, then consult websites like this to see which companies use plastics, and avoid them.
So how does OkStraw Paper Straws fit into all of this? Good question! Plastic straws and plastic tea bags have a lot in common. They both cause needless plastic waste, but it’s easy to cut them out. We at OkStraw only make biodegradable paper straws, and there’s none of this plastic sealant nonsense, either!
For those who enjoy their iced tea, why not pick up a paper straw to go with you paper tea bags? Want a paper bendy straw? We’ve got you covered, and boba fans will love our premium strength Bubble Tea Paper Straws. So from us at OkStraw, ditch those plastic tea bags, brew responsibly, and join the Cause for Paper Straws!