Single-use tea bags made of “bioplastic” don’t easily degrade in soil

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Scientists attempted to compost conventional single-use, petrochemical-based plastic tea bags and “bioplastic” (made of PLA, plant starch, or a mixture of those things) tea bags in real-environmental soil conditions for one year. They found that many of the “bioplastic” tea bags—even those marketed as “biodegradable”—did not break down in soil, nor did the petrochemical-based plastic teabags. Tea bags made with plastic and many “bioplastics” create microplastic particles that pollute the Earth and our bodies. The study, while it does not evaluate chemical risks, highlights the need to further study the hazards of plastic and “bioplastic” exposure and pollution in addition to showing how single-use plastic and “bioplastic” teabags are not biodegradable and create hazardous waste.

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