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

Trail Shoppers Drug Mart offers virtual doctor appointments

Most Shoppers locations in B.C. will offer online appts by Aug. 4

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Two search and rescue calls involving children end with happy outcomes

The incidents took place in Trail and Salmo area on July 5 and 6

Province releases Columbia River Treaty public feedback report

Reservoir levels, fair compensation for impacted communities, among many issues raised

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read