So you know those newer “silk” tea bags, the one that seem like they’re maybe made out of plastic? Well, yeah, many of them are plastic, nylon specifically. I’ve known about this for a while, but it occurred to me to talk about it here to hopefully make more people aware.
The worst part is they’ve been demonstrated to create a bunch of microplastics just from brewing tea.
Old-school paper tea bags were just fine, especially newer, larger incarnations that allowed room for loose leaf teas (see: Rishi). There is no functional reason for the newer bags (some manufacturers claim taste is better, but test it yourself, I certainly disagree). It seems to be basically a marketing thing, largely a case of aesthetics.
So yeah, avoid the plastic tea bags, tell your friends, heck, tell the manufacturers what you think!
Update: apparently some are now plant-based and biodegradable. I’m unclear what this means for our health, but seems better for the environment anyway. Keep in mind that they are probably made with GMO ingredients though.
Here’s a good reference for some major US-based brands, many of which seem to be compostable:
And some more thoughts on the compostability: