Which tea bags contain microplastic and nanoplastic particles?

Heard about the 2019 Canadian study of tea bags containing micro and nano plastic particles sometimes into the billions. Article with link to research here. https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/tea-bags-plastic-study-mcgill-1.5295662
Potential effects on the body, environment and composting…??? Shocked to read this I rang the customer support number on my Twinings teabag box. The answer was ‘Yes’. Reason enough for me to go back to loose tea, but which tea bags sold in Australia are free of microplastics? The UK has taken a look at their tea bags to advise customers in order to make their own health and environmental choices.
Great if CHOICE could do something similar for our Australian market. There are not many of us who don’t drink tea. (Furthermore, research into teabags could be linked back to findings in Choice’s 2017 article on microplastics.)


Sadly for us all there is plastic all around us. Micro plastics have been found even in the Antarctic. I doubt there would be any tea or product that doesn’t contain some alien plastic. Open a plastic bottle and you are likely to drink or eat plastic contaminants with whatever else the bottle holds. Plastic is in our water supplies, and we all contain some amount of plastic these days.

So I doubt that there is any teabag or even tea leaf product which is totally free of plastics, some bags are even made of synthetic compounds as noted in the article you reference.

There are some which would be lower than others and this might be possible to list. I’m only guessing but I would think loose leaf tea is probably lower in plastic per serve than teabag products but it would depend on how it was stored, what process was used to package it (eg plastic in the packaging and packaging machinery). To accurately determine plastic contamination would require expensive testing and I don’t think CHOICE’s budget would run to that level.

Listing Teabags that are not made with plastic is as I said possible, but if you are trying to avoid plastic I don’t think that is possible.


I was watching on i-View a past edition of Gardening Australia, and Costa Georgiadis was talking about Compost Bins. He advised gardeners not to use tea-bags in the compost bin, as they contained micro plastic particles. We were shocked, as we are heavy tea drinkers, & have always been putting tea-bags in the compost bin, thinking we were protecting the environment, & building up compost.
We have a large vegetable garden which we put all the compost into it.
We stopped putting tea-bags in the compost after watching Gardening Australia.


Some teabags are made with plastic/nylon/synthetic bags, while others are only natural fibres. Some also use hemp and a a tiny percentage (less than 2%) of food-grade synthetic fibres. It is claimed that these synthetic fibres are used to heat-seal the teabag.

While it is easy to identify the 100% synthetic ones, the bags with a smal quantity of plastic fibres are impossible to identify without thorough testing which can’t be done in the home.

Has been already done by someone else.

What to do…use teabags known to be plastic free…this website has a list as a starting point…

If one wants to add tea bags to the compost and worried about the plastic, only purchase those known to be plastic free or loose leaf in unsure brands.


Acter hearing about tew bags recently containing plastics and non biodegradable products on gardening Australia i have instantly been converted back to leaf tea. If it means i don’t need to use more plastics especially in tea.

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