Les sachets de thé sont-ils toxiques ?
The Mate Blog

Are tea bags toxic?

Jan 17, 2022

A study implicates nylon or PET (petroleum-based plastic) tea bags, responsible for the release of billions of plastic microparticles during infusion.

How can these plastic microparticles impact our health? Are there alternatives to tea bags that contain plastic?

SUMMARY

  1. The study
  2. What are the alternatives to plastic bags?
    1. The paper tea bag
    2. The nylon tea bag
    3. Muslin tea bag
    4. cornstarch tea bag

The study

On September 25, 2019, a Canadian study was published with the aim of raising awareness among tea and infusion consumers.
During an infusion of a nylon or PET bag, ACS Environmental Science & Technology tells us that billions of microparticles and nanoparticles are released.

Indeed, the researchers analyzed four bags of different brands of tea. Simply steeping a single plastic tea bag at brewing temperature (95°C) releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics in a single cup of tea. All this is of course invisible to the naked eye.

In addition, the higher the temperature, the more the bag releases plastic.
Infused with water at room temperature, it releases 300 times fewer plastic particles.

tea bag plastic analysis

Release of microplastics and nanoplastics in water at 95°C

Yes, it's quite shocking to know that we absorb billions of plastic particles without seeing or knowing it, while being the “norm” among bag producers.

For the moment, it is not yet possible to know the impact and consequences of plastic particles on the human body. The WHO (World Health Organization) has also requested that in-depth studies be carried out.

While waiting for the results, the authors of the Canadian study recommend avoiding the consumption of plastic tea bags (nylon or PET).

What are the alternatives to plastic bags?

As we have seen previously, certain types of sachets release toxic particles.
We have produced a description of each type of sachet to make your choice easier for your next infusion purchases!

The paper tea bag


It is indeed the oldest type of sachet. Its price being very low, it allowed the great popularization of tea and infusion in sachets.

Its aroma retention is correct, but its infusion is less so. Indeed, the diffusion of aromas is altered by the paper , creating an unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth.

Beware of this type of bag, most are bleached with chlorine .

Our recommendation: Avoid .

paper tea bag

paper tea bag

nylon tea bag


To circumvent the disadvantages of the aroma of the paper bag, a large number of producers and packers have embarked on the nylon bag, diffusing the aromas of the infusion much more effectively thanks to a better circulation of water .

Be careful, as seen above, these bags release a large amount of plastic particles.

Our recommendation: Avoid .

plastic tea bag

Nylon tea bag

Muslin tea bag


Several types of muslin exist today, such as cotton, nylon, or more rarely, silk muslin sachets.

Muslin has many advantages such as good preservation and diffusion of aromas . The muslin bag is more durable than the paper bag.

However, we advise you to pay close attention to the type of muslin when shopping. Most are not compostable, so be sure to check the material of the muslin . If the material is not specified, it is surely nylon.

Our recommendation: Check the material of the muslin .

the mate sachet muslin

Muslin tea bags

cornstarch tea bag


These innovative sachets are 100% natural and biodegradable .
The production comes from plant material and its use is much safer: No plastic, no staples or microparticles. Finally !

Resistant, durable and perfectly diffusing the aromas , we have therefore chosen this solution for our production of maté in sachets .

Combining sustainability, ecology and innovation, corn starch is compostable after use , just like mate!

Our recommendation: To be preferred .

eco-friendly bag

Maize Starch Mate Tea Bag

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