Plastic Free July 2020: Day 12 – Loose Leaf Tea


Last September, a study was published revealing that many commercial tea bags are made up of plastic like nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Worse, they discovered that when these bags are brewed with hot water, billions of microplastic particles shed into the drink.

The study’s abstract states, “We show that steeping a single plastic teabag at brewing temperature (95 °C) releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup of the beverage” (Tufenkji, 2019).


And it all could easily be avoided by switching to loose leaf tea. Available in many bulk stores, loose leaf tea is generally much less expensive (by volume) than the individually packaged tea bags. And since you are controlling the amount of tea leaves you use, you have much more control over the flavor of the tea you are making.

Investing in one $5-$10 metal tea infuser is really all you need. Just fill with tea leaves, steep as directed, and compost when done.


But in case you’re wondering, here are some brands that are NOT using plastic tea bags:

  • Traditional Medicinals
  • Pukka
  • Numi Teas
  • Republic of Tea
  • Qi Tea 
  • Stash
  • Yogi Tea
  • Higher Living Teas

**note, just because the tea bags are compostable or plastic-free does not mean that these products come in plastic-free boxes/packaging.

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And here are some brands that still have plastic tea bags:

  • Tazo
  • Teavana (Starbucks)
  • Celestial Seasonings
  • Mighty Leaf Teas (Peet’s)
  • Twinnings

List source: with some additions made.

Photos courtesy:

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