degrade [dɪ'greɪd] 

v. 降低


If your favourite brand of tea is using plastic teabags, you are probably getting a gutful of microplastics.

A new study has found that a single plastic teabag steeped at a brewing temperature of 95 degrees Celsius releases around 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup. Let that sink in for a moment.

Currently, we're estimated to consume over 74,000 particles of microplastics a year. According to this research, there's nearly 200,000 times that amount in a single cup of plastic teabag tea.

Microplastics are everywhere. So much of our food is wrapped in plastic, for a start, and often ends up in the food itself. 

In addition, it leaches out into the environment. We're making (painfully slow) headway eliminating useless plastic microbeads from body washes, and phasing out plastic straws and bags, but the damage has been done.

Plastic ends up in things like sea salt, canned fish, and honey, and chicken.

For many years, teabags have been made mostly out of paper, but recently some companies have been using plastic meshes instead.

This isn't just a problem for the environment. According to researchers at McGill University in Canada, temperatures greater than 40 degrees Celsius can degrade plastics immensely. Even food-grade plastics.

If you want to avoid it, your best bet is to choose paper teabags (do your homework, though, some paper ones are reinforced with plastic), or loose-leaf tea.



degrade [dɪ'greɪd] 

v. 降低


This substance degrades rapidly in the soil.


to meet human needs indefinitely without degrading the environment