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

North Okanagan delegates off to BC Winter Games

Athletes, coaches and officials making the long trek north

Top senior curlers converge on Vernon

Vernon Curling Club hosts B.C. Senior Men’s and Women’s finals, starting Tuesday.

Vernon Mustangs dominate D Final

Hosts crush Merritt 18-4 at Coca Cola Classic Peewee tourney

Vernon Vipers hold off Warriors

BCHL: Vipers in dogfight with Wenatchee, Salmon Arm for third place in Interior Division

North Okanagan Knights draw Chiefs in first round

KIJHL: Knights closing out regular season; will play division-winning Kelowna in opening round

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read