Tea drinkers urged to avoid plastic tea bags after tests found bags shed billions of particles of microplastic

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Tea drinkers have been urged to avoid plastic tea bags (Getty)

Billions of particles of microplastic are being shed into every cuppa that is made using plastic tea bags, experts have found.

A team of scientists from McGill University in Canada say the a plastic tea bag brewing in 95C temperatures releases a staggering 11.6 billion microplastics into one single cup.

These tiny microplastics - at levels higher than other foods and drinks - are then consumed.

Billions of microplastic particles were found in a single cup of tea made with plastic tea bags (Getty)

Nathalie Tufenkji, from the university, told New Scientist: “We think that it is a lot when compared to other foods that contain microplastics.

“Table salt, which has a relatively high microplastic content, has been reported to contain approximately 0.005 micrograms plastic per gram salt.

“A cup of tea contains thousands of times greater mass of plastic, at 16 micrograms per cup.”

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Despite the alarming results, the World Health Organisation (WHO) say that there is no evidence that these microplastics are harmful to humans.

However, Tufenkji recommended opting for paper tea bags or loose tea rather than the single-use plastic variety.

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