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

Just Posted

Saanich man charged in cross-border drug smuggling operation pleads guilty

William Milton Barnes was charged following a six-month joint investigation

Advanced polls see 29 per cent increase in voter turn out from 2015

Some 4.7 million people took part, says Elections Canada

For Central Saanich couple, fight against MS is a matter of family

Altenkirks sell greeting cards and wooden bowls to raise money for MS Society

Victoria feels the pinch at the pump as gas prices jump 18 cents

Gas up to 157.9 cents per litre at some stations

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Pot use admission at U.S. border snagging Canadian boomers, says lawyer

A waiver to enter the U.S. can cost $2,000 and isn’t a guarantee

Health concerns over vaping cast haze over Canadian cannabis market expansion

More than 1,000 people in the United States, and a handful in Canada, have developed a lung ailment

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Most Read