"Fancy" silky teabags shed microplastics

Some "fancy" brands of teabags are made of polyethylene or nylon and they're shedding microplastics into hot drinks. Delicious! No-one knows if it's bad for you.

Nathalie Tufenkji, a professor of chemical engineering at the Montreal university, was surprised to find one such bag in the tea she ordered from a coffee shop one morning.It looked like plastic, she recalled. "I said, 'Oh God, I'm sure if it's plastic it's, like, breaking down into the tea.'"

So when she got into the lab, she asked her graduate student, Laura Hernandez, to go out and buy a bunch from different brands. Sure enough, Hernandez's lab tests showed that when steeped in hot water, the tea bags released microplastic and even smaller nanoplastic particles — and not just the hundreds or thousands Tufenkji had been expecting.

"We were shocked when we saw billions of particles in a single cup of tea," she said.

Just reading about plastic teabags makes me think I'm taking crazy pills. Plastic teabags! What a marvelous discrepancy between a blatantly hostile fuck-the-environment product and its cosy marketing.

Boing Boing's tea recommendations are all good old fashioned paper bags.