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Source: European Parliament


Motion for a European Parliament resolution on banning the production of tea bags containing plastic

The European Parliament,

 having regard to Rule 143 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the European Union has restricted the placing on the market of certain single-use plastic products by 2021 and committed to reducing the consumption of others;

B. whereas relevant studies[1] have found that steeping a plastic tea bag at a brewing temperature of 95 °C releases around 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles into a single cup of tea;

C. whereas most single-use tea bags available on the EU market are made of nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET);

D. whereas reusable metal containers and biodegradable and compostable alternatives to plastic tea bags exist and are already available on the EU market;

1. Considers that tea bags should not contain plastic and that reusable or, where not possible, biodegradable and compostable materials should be used instead;

2. Calls on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal to ban the placing on the EU market of tea bags containing plastic;

3. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission.


[1] Hernandez, L.M. et al., ‘Plastic Teabags Release Billions of Microparticles and Nanoparticles into Tea’, Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 53, No 21, ACS Publications, Washington, DC, 2019, pp. 12300–12310.

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