We all know paper is weak and falls apart easily when it is submerged in water. Somehow, your tea bag retains its shape? What is in the bag? Is it safe?
-In order for the tea bags to seal up and keep their shape in hot liquid without tearing, most tea bags contain a plastic polymer called polypropylene, or an epoxy resin called epichlorohydrin.
–Polypropylene is a plastic that begins to degrade when exposed to high temperatures. It is bad for the endocrine system, as it can cause genetic mutations and tumors. It is also bad for the reproductive system, causing fertility problems.
–Epichlorohydrin, a chlorinated epoxy compound that is used as an industrial solvent, is not only a strong skin irritant, but also a known carcinogen. It has been shown to cause cancer in animals, impair fertility, and weaken immune function.
-Due to the plastic content, conventional tea bags cannot completely decompose. This makes them a bad option for compost material and the environment!
-Unlike whole leaf teas, tea bags generally contain broken leaves, dust, and fannings. The leaves are placed into large rolling machines that break down whole leaves into smaller pieces that fit into tea bags. Unfortunately, that means that tea bags may not contain the whole tea leaf. Thus they don’t contain all of the healthy compounds such as l-theanine and antioxidants that help to detox and improve overall health.
-So what do you do with all of this? How do you protect yourself and get the most health benefits from tea? There are a few options. The first option is to purchase only loose leaf tea and use one of these re-usable infuser options: metal, cotton, or French press. The second option is to purchase loose leaf tea and buy single use paper infusers but make sure you do your homework first and find one that is biodegradable and plastic free.