With a history dating back thousands of years, herbal tea has played an important role in ancient and modern cultures. Believed to have originated in China, tea has been brewed and revered for its health properties across the world. Herbal tea is known to boost the immune system with its vitamins and antioxidants, improve digestion, fight colds, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and relieve anxiety and stress. Yet, the practices surrounding tea drinking have become increasingly wasteful. A study in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Environmental Science and Technology found 11.6 billion microplastics (miniscule plastic particles) and 3.1 billion nanoplastics (1,000 times smaller than an algal cell) were released by a single plastic tea bag when brewed. Most teabags are now up to 25% plastic, using a plastic polymer to seal and maintain the shape of the bag when dipped into steaming water – even those marketed as paper tea bags. The ingredients inside the tea bag also carry environmental concerns, including pesticide use for non-organic products, and the long distances ingredients must travel to get from the farm to your mug. While plastic-free teabags can be tossed in the compost, there is an even more sustainable solution: […]

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