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How To Avoid Nasty Rat Plastic in Tea Bags

Recently I came across a graphic on @steph_shep’s Instagram feed ( Kim K’s former assistant who is now a badass influencer ).

Anyway, I found this stat pretty disturbing, so I immediately went to Google & started researching if it was true.

WELLLLL, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I came across some pretty bleak information.

There was a study conducted by McGill University in Montreal & they discovered that one single, ‘silky’ plastic-based tea bag releases 11.6 billion microplastics & 3.1 billion nanoplastics into your mug.


Let’s go back. I’m a big fan of going to Vegas whether it’s for work or play ( who isn’t’? ) & I like to stay at The Encore. They have this amazing tea that’s a green tropical tea. Immediately after I saw the thing about plastics on Instagram, my brain went to this tea because the bag is so beautiful & I always admired it. It’s this thick triangle-shaped tea bag, JUST LIKE the one used in the Instagram post.

I can remember so many mornings being hungover & ordering a nice cup of green tropical tea. & now I come to find out it’s just plastic melting in my hot water. GROSS.

Obviously life is about balance & you can’t do everything right. But, for me, when it comes to drinking tea, HOLD THE PLASTIC please & thank you.

You might completely disagree with me here, & maybe it’s not a big deal for you, but I think it’s important for The Skinny Confidential community to know stuff like this- because knowledge is power, but applied knowledge is more power.

So after studying this, I really dissected what teas I was drinking because I’m big on tea ( remember this post on the best iced tea on the planet? You should know it contains no plastic ).  And now with pregnancy I’m even more of a fan of tea, which makes the plastic situation even more relevant. Like, I don’t want to be drinking tea every single day of my pregnancy & giving 3.1 billion plastic particles to my baby. LOL.

( side note: If you’re not a tea fan & you’re more of a coffee girl, you have to check out my cinnamon inulin coffee. )

Again, I just think it’s about being an educated consumer. If you don’t care about this then no sweat. But if you do care & are ordering or buying tea, then you want to look for natural fibers that don’t have plastics sealing the tea bags. You’ll want to reach for teas that are organic, have plastic fee bags, & ones made of plant-based material. If you want to take it a step further you could even look for natural fibers that don’t contain epichloroydrin ( which is a compound used for making plastics ).

Now listen. There may be no plausible health effects from ingesting particles of plastic, but when I’m drinking a nice hot cup of tea I want it to be CLEAN. I don’t ask for much.

A lot of people brew loose leaf tea which helps avoid excess packaging, which is good for the environment. But I must admit, I buy prepackaged teas. As you know, I love Kusmi BB Detox Tea. Their bags are made of muslin which is a plain weave, 100% cotton bag, so that’s a good option.

Don’t let the word ‘detox’ scare you. It’s not an actual detox, flat tummy tea. It’s filled with a blend of Yerba mate, rooibos, guarana, dandelion & a zing of grapefruit. It’s delicious. You should know that you can drink this tea iced too, but I like this one hot. It’s super high quality & I think everyone should have 2 boxes on hand at all times.

Pique Tea is another favorite of mine. I take the little packs with me whenever I travel. I love the ginger & the matcha. They don’t use tea bags so you don’t even have to worry about it. Each pack comes with little sachettes, perfect for on the go, & there are no additives plus their teas are triple toxin screened so you know there are no pesticides, heavy metals or mold. AND you guys can use the code SKINNY for 5% off your order + free shipping. Yes plz.

Basically you want to stay away from those mesh bags that are those fragile, pyramid-shaped one. Apparently those ones are the worst.

Interestingly enough, “when the researchers in the McGill study experimented with feeding the plastics to microscopic, shrimp-like creatures called water fleas, the fleas wigged the heck out.

The water fleas swam “crazily”, Tufenkji told the CBC. Exposure to the plastics “really stresses them out”. The fleas’ exoskeletons became unnaturally “ballooned”, a worrisome effect which the researchers believe warrants further study.

To put it unscientifically, the amount of plastic found in these tea bags is more than we ingest from just about anything else. For context, a liter of water in a single-use plastic bottle contains 44 microplastic particles; a portion of mussels contains about 90; a kilogram of salt over 600. One study found we consume 70,000 particles annually just from the ambient dust that settles on our food.

This year, the World Wide Fund for Nature estimated that the average person ingests about five grams of plastic a week – the equivalent size of a credit card. Based on that research, over the course of a year we munch through over 260 grams of plastic.” ( source )

There’s this one brand that is super careful about what they put in their teas, & it’s probably the best brand I’ve found if you’re looking to really be cognitive about what’s in your tea. The brand is Pukka. If you’re going to start with one of them, I recommend the chamomile, vanilla & manuka honey one.

Pukka uses only high quality, organic herbs in their teas with an emphasis on ayurveda. They’re also very conscious about their carbon footprint & care about the health of the planet.

Another one I like is the turmeric glow & the mint matcha green.

Traditional Medicinals is another worry-free brand that has totally compostable, natural tea bags. Hilary, who freelances for TSC is a big fan of this brand. It’s non-GMO, fair trade, & organic. She’s always sipping on peppermint or green ginger.

Anyways, that’s playing it really safe. Now, if you want the best iced tea on the planet I have to shout it out again.

Just imagine the most thirsty situation where you’re dying for something to quench your thirst. THIS is what you want. What I do is fill this specific pitcher with hot water & 2 SPORTea bags then leave it in the fridge overnight. When I wake up I grab a nice, big, double-wall Bodum glass  like the ones the Kardashians use & fill it with ice, the tea, & a Softy Straw. Yum.

Anyway, what I like about this tea is that it’s refreshing & gives you energy but not in a Redbull, shaky, Adderall kind of way. Actually a lot of people drink this when they’re sick because it’s very settling for their stomach. Again, there are lots of electrolytes in it so it’s good when you’re sick.

This tea has been around for over 20 years & it’s very legit. & I’m telling you this is a TSC find if I’ve ever seen one. I mean, it was the first idea in my trapper keeper when I was thinking of ideas for the site. You guys gotta try it.

Sooo specific about my mugs when I drink tea too. I like my glass Bodum cups – if you guys don’t know about these chic glasses, let me fill you in. TRÉS MOTHERFUCKING CHIC. This was a recommendation from Ingrid & she really delivered. They’re light-weight, chic, fun, BPA free, easy to wash & look so cute on Instagram. Never going back to ceramic mugs EVER.

Like I said, it’s not all about cutting everything out, it’s just about having knowledge as a consumer so you can make your own decision.

If you’re looking for a good drink that isn’t tea or coffee, check out Four Sigmatic. The mushroom cacao is like a hug from grandma & it’s so good with lemon.

That’s my in-depth stream of consciousness on plastic in tea bags.

Ok, pregnancy might be making me a little crazy. Off to enjoy a cup of plastic free, lead free, all natural, organic tea. LOL.

Would love to know what you’re vibing with lately.

x, lauryn

+ check out my morning spa water.

++ how to drink more water effortlessly.


  1. I’m not much of a tea drinker but this sounds seriously terrible! I will be sharing this with my tea-drinking family and friends – thank you!

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

  2. Thanks for the info. I can honestly say that I consume more cups of tea than the average human, by a long way… and although I often drink loose leaf, I do drink various brands and one has those plastic mesh bags — will throw them out immediately. I am trying to be so careful with eating and drinking clean (she says as she sips lemon water through a bamboo straw haha). I was gifted two boxes of Pukka tea a couple of months ago — one is a mixed selection of matcha teas and I’m so in love. Thank you again for the research and insight… always a treat to read and learn!

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