Learn about the sustainable packaging of tea and biodegradable tea bags and why that makes a difference in our environment. Read on - you CAN make a difference!
Plastic in your pour?
Learn about sustainable tea packaging and biodegradable teabags and why this makes a difference to our environment.... how YOU can make a difference!
What are Microplastics and what are they doing in your tea?
Tea has become a drink of choice for many health and environmentally conscious individuals - and rightfully so - but what happens when your cup is littered with billions of harmful microplastics? To begin to answer that question, we need to understand what microplastics are. Simply put, they are tiny plastic particles, often invisible to the human eye. We ingest Microplastics more than you would believe - they are in the air we breathe, the soil we stand on and even in the tea we drink. Many major players in the world of tea use plastic in the making of their teabags. ‘Silken’ teabags are not made from silk but from plastic, even paper tea bags are usually sealed with a plastic melt and fortified using plastic fibres.
A 2019 peer-reviewed study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that steeping a single plastic tea bag releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nano-plastics made up of nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into a single cup of tea. To put it in simple terms - the amount of plastic found in these teabags is more than we ingest from just about anything else. For context, a litre of water in a single-use plastic bottle only contains 44 microplastic particles; a portion of seafood contains about 90; a kilogram of salt has just over 600. This year, the World Wide Fund for Nature estimates that the average person ingests about five grams of plastic a week – the equivalent size of a credit card. Based on that research, over the course of a year we munch through over 260 grams of plastic! So what does that mean for your health? Well, unsurprisingly, the more plastic we ingest, the worse it is for our health.
Microplastics and your health
While it is still an emerging area of research, preliminary findings suggest Microplastics may cause numerous health risks. A 2021 peer-reviewed study published in Science of The Total Environment found correlations between the ingestion of Microplastics and a compromised immune system, high blood pressure, an altered metabolism and energy balance and inflammation. After all, these microplastics are so small that most of them are invisible to the naked eye, so small that they could potentially invade our cells. So now we know the impact of plastics on our body, but what about the environmental impact of plastic teabags on the planet? Given tea is the second most consumed drink worldwide (we go through an estimated 6.3 billion kgs every year), approximately 5 billion teabags being used and disposed of globally yearly. So, what effect does this have on our environment and its larger ecosystems? Pouring your tea down the drain with its microplastics and disposing of your plastic teabags is harmful to oceans and aquatic environments. Beyond this, the carbon footprint of manufacturing more plastic products, like the simple teabag, adds to its harmful environmental impact. The ocean is now host to well over 5.25 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic, weighing a total of 269,000 tonnes. While your single, plastic teabag may feel insignificant compared to this large sum, think of all the teabags in use around the world every single day! Don’t worry though, you don’t need to cut out tea completely to look after your health and the environment - you just need to source sustainable tea and shop ethical brands.
Loose Leaf vs Teabags
While we understand the appeal of the convenience of a tea bag (that’s why they were invented after all), shopping loose leaf tea eliminates the waste of a tea bag completely. It also minimises your consumption of Microplastics as they aren’t melting away from the bag in to your tea. Shopping loose leaf teas is only a small inconvenience when compared to the detrimental health and environmental repercussions of plastic tea bags.
Shop Sustainably - Biodegradable Teabags
We give a fuss about your health and the environment - that’s why Fusspot Collagen Beauty Tea uses only the most eco friendly teabags. Our premium soilon, pyramid teabags are made from polylactic acid (aka cornstarch) - making them completely biodegradable and compostable. Beyond this, they allow enough room for the tea to steep inside the bag (so you know it is good for your skin and body - not just the environment). We also use non-bleached and non-toxic strings and tags. We ensure our teas give you all the benefits of a regular tea with the added bonus of a collagen boost without any of the Microplastic nasties. We also use recyclable packaging for all of our teabag boxes - who said a box of bags can’t be cute and eco-friendly at the same time?
Home Brew is the Best Brew
Bottled teas can provide an energising jolt throughout the day but the environmental repercussions far outweigh the product. Most bottled teas are covered in plastic, which of course contain Microplastics, which as you now know, will end up in your body or in our environment. Beyond the harmful Microplastics, they produce way more pollution and waste more water throughout production. Instead, we recommend home brewing a big batch of iced tea to consume over a few days.
Use and Reuse Again
Reusing is a sustainable habit that we should all be incorporating in to our daily lives, using items as much as possible before disposing them - that includes our tea. While you get the most out of our collagen teas by drinking them, there are multiple ways you can reap their benefits. As you steep your tea, consider using it as a facial steam, a bath or shower steam; clearing the airways, opening your pores and relaxing the mind. After your tea, consider refrigerating the bags and using them to depuff under eyes or soothe insect bites.
Tea is the most popular beverage (after water) in the world and we can understand why. Not only is it delicious but the health benefits are huge - though, all that is insignificant once we consume it with a few billion Microplastics in a single cup. It's important that we feed our body well and our Earth too and that means shopping, producing and brewing a little more sustainably.
At Fusspot Collagen Beauty Tea, we ensured that we only use soilon teabag fabric, we only have one inner wrapper for freshness, and our boxes are made with recyclable paper that can also be broken down and recycled again. So, the little old teabag may not have been drawn to your attention for its’ impact to the environment, but as you can see, in such great volume, this innovation has and continues to make a huge difference to the environment.
Every little teabag helps.
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