Let’s talk tea...

Many people who have composted for some time and been happily throwing their tea bags in their kitchen caddies - as we have been encouraging everyone to do in the past few weeks – may have noticed some tea bag leftovers when they dig out their compost. The mesh around the tea bags is mostly made of paper fibre, but also has polypropylene which helps heat seal the bag. This is not biodegradable. However, don’t stop composting your bags, because we definitely don’t want them in landfill.

Which? produced a report on this a few years back, speaking to tea manufacturers and to our national government recycling organisation WRAP. The conclusion was that tea bags should still be composted as this is the best environmental option available. WRAP simply advised that if the bags are still visible in any way when you are spreading your compost, pick or sieve them out, or if you really don’t want them in there at all, you could split the bag.

There are some brands out there which are fully biodegradable, it’s usually stated clearly on the packet. Beware of metal staples if it’s a bag which has a tag separately attached. However, all manufacturers would argue that even if their bags aren’t 100% biodegradable they are still compostable. With WRAP’s guidance backing this up, and the knowledge we have about how things rot in landfill versus a compost bin, we say YES to composting your bags. So go grab a cuppa and get composting. The worms will thank you for it – they love a good tea bag – and you’ll be helping us to save thousands in landfill tax (£147,667 to be exact - that’s what it cost us last year for all the tea bags, egg shells and coffee grounds thrown away instead of composted in West Sussex).

Here's the link to the Which? report.


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