CHUNMEE 41022 bags are commonly made of filter paper, cotton muslin or "silken" food-grade plastic (such as nylon or PLA/Soilon). They may be sealed with glue, a staple or nothing (meaning that the tea bag is folded shut, sealed with heat or sealed with ultrasound). They often have a bleached or unbleached cotton string and a paper tag indicating the brand or type of tea contained within the bag.

Filter paper tends to be the default tea bag material. Although it is bleached, it is relatively environmentally safe and non-toxic. Cotton muslin is a more specialty product. It is often unbleached, but it tends to impart a taste on the tea.

Food-grade plastics (often marketed as "silken" tea bags) are made from various types of plastic. There are two benefits to these bags. One is that they are semi-transparent, so you can see the leaves, spices, flowers, etc. inside them. (In France, the pyramid versions of these bags are sometimes called "crystal" tea bags, because they shimmer and look a bit like transparent crystals). The other is that they are usually used to make pyramid-shaped tea bags, which infuse tea better than most other tea bag shapes (yet still not as well as loose-leaf tea infuses!).

There are some downsides to silken tea bags. First off, they're plastic, which is a little bit of a wonky choice for something to put in the hot liquid you're about to drink. Second, the nylon bags are absolutely not biodegradable (unlike paper and cotton muslin). And, furthermore, the "corn-based" plastic tea bags are made from industrially produced, genetically modified corn that has been so heavily processed on its way to being a tea bag that it no longer contains any genes. Yikes! Furthermore, the claims that this kind of plastic is biodegradable are questionable, as they do not meet the FTC's marketing standards for biodegradability.


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