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Is There Plastic in Your Tea?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

healthiest tea to drink

Story at-a-glance -

  • Nearly all tea bags contain plastic woven through the paper to increase the durability of a product designed to stay together inside a cup of hot water for many minutes. The heat releases minute pieces of plastic from the bag, as well as phthalates
  • Since the bags contain plastics, they are not completely biodegradable or compostable and a spokesperson from Twinings Tea recommends tea bags should not be used in compost piles or added directly to soil
  • Dangers from consuming plastics include an increased intake of phthalates, associated with hormone disruption, increased risk of miscarriage and low vitamin D levels
  • By using loose leaf tea, steeped in fresh, pure water with a reusable infuser or tea strainer, you can enjoy the many benefits of tea while avoiding plastic exposure

In the U.S., there aren’t scheduled tea breaks or tea-related routines, but it is still one of the most widely consumed beverages, found in nearly 80 percent of all U.S. households.

In 2017, Americans consumed over 84 billion servings of tea and more than 3.8 billion gallons. Nearly 86 percent of that was black tea, followed by 13 percent green tea and the small remaining amount a mixture of oolong, white and dark teas.


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