Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
kike vega F2qh3yjz6Jk unsplash?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
kike vega F2qh3yjz6Jk unsplash?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
/ Unsplash

What’s the Tea on… Tea?!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bryant chapter.

We’re here to spill the tea on tea – why you should be drinking loose leaf tea and what’s scary about those conventional plastic tea bags.


According to a study published by Canadian researchers in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, steeping a single plastic tea bag at brewing temperature releases about 11.6 billion minuscule particles known as “microplastics” and 3.1 billion “nanoplastics” into each cup – EW! Many tea bags are comprised of a plastic called polypropylene, which is known to have negative side effects on the body’s endocrine system.



Okay, so what about paper tea bags? Many tea bags that are made from paper unfortunately have a plastic glue sealant to help keep the bags from falling apart. So, either way, there is plastic in your tea bags.

There are, however, some companies that explicitly state they use no plastic in their tea bags:

Clipper Teas: “We never used chemically bleached teabags because who cares if a teabag isn’t white? […] Now we’ve developed an unbleached, plastic-free, non-GMO tea bag, there’s no stopping us!”

Good and Proper Tea: “Our new range of leaf tea bags are 100% compostable and plastic-free, which means they can be thrown straight into your food waste bin.”

Numi Organic Tea: “Our teabags are compostable and made from manila hemp cellulose (plant fiber). They are non-GMO verified, oxygen whitened, and the tag is made from 100% recycled materials and soy-based inks.”

Pukka Herbs: “Our tea bag paper is made of a special blend of natural abaca (a type of banana), wood pulps and plant cellulose fibres. They are staple-free, stitched together with organic cotton. The tea bag strings are made from 100% organic, non-GMO cotton […] Tea companies have recently come under scrutiny for the use of polypropylene, a plastic used to heat-seal the edges of teabags.”

teapigs: “You’ll be very pleased to hear that our tea temples have never contained plastic. The temples and the string attached are made from cornstarch, a natural carbohydrate extracted from corn. The label on the end of the string is made from simple, old-fashioned paper. Even the ink on the label is vegetable-based, and everything is sealed with heat – so no glue! As a result, our tea temples are fully compostable with your food waste collection.”

Tea Tonic: “Our tea bags have been made with the environment and health in mind, using unbleached filter paper and individually wrapped teabags in paper envelopes (no staples & completely compostable).”

we are tea: “Our tea bags are 100% plastic free and 100% biodegradable. They are made from a material called SOILON, which is a bi-product of corn starch. Corn starch is a natural carbohydrate extracted from corn. We seal our teabags with ultrasound (not glue!) and we don’t have tags on our tea bags so that we can save on paper.” 

Another way you can avoid plastic in your tea is to choose loose leaf!

Loose leaf teas are exactly what they sound like – tea leaves that come without the plastic tea bag! By choosing loose leaf teas instead of plastic tea bags, you’re only ingesting the actual tea – and no plastic. (Which is what we want!) So how do you brew loose leaf tea? Well, there’s multiple ways! Our favorite is with a stainless steel tea infuser. It’s essentially like a reusable tea bag and is super easy to use and clean.If you’re looking for something that will make you a lot of tea at once, an electric kettle or a glass tea kettle with a stainlees steel infuser is probably your best bet.

Not only are loose leaf teas better for your health, they’re also more environmentally friendly. Most of the time, loose leaf teas come in reusable tins, cans, or boxes. 

So, the next time you want to curl up with a nice hot cup of tea, either check out these plastic-free tea companies above, or go out and purchase some loose leaf!


Gif 1 | Gif 2 | Image 1 | Image 2 | Image 3

Find me either eating some vegan buffalo mac & cheese or crocheting up a storm. Or maybe both at the same time.  
Self-Declared Pizza Connoisseur & Designated Champagne Popper