I recently talked with Tazo and discovered that, apart from the tea itself, none of their products, including the hemp bags, are biodegradable. Tazo’s website has no information regarding their tea bags. I contacted customer support and was informed that “the recyclable and biodegradable cellulose hemp bags available in grocery stores.” However, the metal staple used to seal the bag can or can not be compostable, depending on your area’s composting regulations. Regrettably, filterbag envelopes cannot be recycled owing to the inside lining that keeps the filterbag fresh”.
Thus, YES, the Tazo tea bags are Compostable.
Are Tazo tea bags made from plastic?
Brands that use non-plastic tea bags include the following:
- Traditional Medicinals
- Numi Teas
- Republic of Tea
- Yogi Tea
Plastic is used in several brands of tea bags:
- Celestial Seasonings
- Mighty Leaf Teas (now’s owned by Peet’s)
- Teavana (Starbucks)
Is it OK to plant tea bags in the garden?
As a result, the question is, “Can I use tea bags in my garden?” Yes, but with a few limitations. Moist tea leaves put to the compost bin accelerate the decomposition process.
When using Tazo tea bags as fertilizer, whether in a compost bin or straight around plants, initially determine if the bag is compostable–up to 20% of the bag may be made of polypropylene, which does not breakdown. These tea bags are typically slick to the touch and come with a heat-sealed edge. When this is the case, split open the bag and discard (boo), but save the wet tea leaves for composting.
When composting tea bags, if you are uncertain about the composition of the bag, you may throw them into your compost and then remove the bag later if you are feeling especially lazy. To me, this seems like an additional step, but to each his own. If the bag is biodegradable, it will be self-evident, since worms and microorganisms will not degrade it. Compostable tea bags may be constructed of paper, silk, or muslin.
Combating Plastic – What Happened to the Green in Your Tea Bags?
Do you know that about 178 million cups of delicious tea are consumed daily in the United Kingdom, and that 96% of those cups are prepared using a bag? While tea is a popular beverage in the United Kingdom, many were surprised to learn that the simple (but helpful) tea bag often includes plastic. Because tea bags are undoubtedly an avoidable source of food waste, a rising concern is what to do with old tea bags; will they be composted, or do they be discarded?
Can Tea Bags Be Composted?
Yes, theoretically, tea bags can be composted. According to the UK government’s waste advisory body WRAP, tea bags are acceptable for home composting as well that if any pieces of the tea bag remain visible in the final compost, they may be easily removed by your hand or sieved out and returned to your compost bin. And is it really that simple, though? For the more experienced gardeners among us, lots of us will have attempted composting these little circles or netted pyramids only to discover the empty partly decomposed nets floating among our beautiful crumbly compost a few months (or years) later.
What Is a Tea Bag Composting Net?
Many people are concerned about the nets’ ability to detect possible contaminants inside compost. Therefore, why are we urged to compost your tea bags when they do not completely degrade? As is the case with the majority of things, it all boils down to how they are manufactured. Given that a significant proportion of household tea bags in the UK are manufactured from 70-80% paper, you’d assume this wouldn’t be a problem; after all, paper can be added to the compost bin without difficulty. However, it turns out that many tea bags marketed in the UK also include variable amounts of polypropylene (a kind of plastic) that is used to help keep the bag tight; other brands even employ food-grade polypropylene to strengthen the bag’s paper fibers. These shards of plastic are what prevent many tea bags from completely degrading and wind up as tiny nets in our compost.
What happened to the green in tea? Is There a Plastic-Free Tea Bag?
With growing awareness of the use of plastics in everyday goods such as tea bags and cosmetics, businesses are being pressed to find methods to decrease their reliance on plastics. Large businesses, like the Royal Estate, have announced intentions to phase out or immediately cease the use of some single-use plastics in their operations, such as by switching to paper straws. Certain tea bags are considered to be another type of plastic pollution, as well as even if you choose not to compost them, you will still be contributing to the fight against microplastics.
To be sure, some businesses have already shifted to more ecologically friendly tea bags, such as those produced from vegetable-based pulp or silk and stitched with cotton. Although more costly, these tea bags have been proven to decompose effectively, leaving little or no trace inside the final compost.
What About the Packaging of Tea Bags?
If you purchase a box of popular branded tea bags, the packaging may also be shredded or recycled and put to the HOTBIN. However, what about tea bags packaged in attractive tiny sachets? While the tea bag tags are biodegradable due to the use of vegetable-based inks, the sachets are often constructed of plastic and/or foil. This, unfortunately, implies that a compostable tea bag may wind up wrapped in a recyclable/non-compostable sachet and then packed in a compostable/recyclable cardboard box.
Beautiful White Tea Bags, but at What Price?
The second source of worry for organic gardeners is that lots of tea bags receive chemical cures in the form of a bag strengthening or/and bleaching/chlorination, which changes the natural brown color of the paper fibers to the when we get some associate with your tea bags. And Is this process contaminating the surrounding surroundings with chemicals? Arguably, this procedure seems to be required only to improve the aesthetics of the tea bag for customers, a scenario similar to the “ugly fruit and vegetable” campaign. Although these fruits and vegetables are now popular, they were previously rejected by certain shops, which raises the issue of whether the cure of your tea bags is really essential.
Composting Tea Bags in a HOTBIN
As a gardener and consumer, should we compost our tea bags at home, discard them in municipal trash, or should we consider permanently altering our tea-drinking habits?
If you want to compost your ‘regular’ tea bags yourself in the HOTBIN, so a few things you can do to assist the process along.
- Determine the kind of tea bag you own.
- Squeeze out as much extra moisture as possible from them; this will prevent new moisture from getting into the HOTBIN and soaking the existing contents.
- Punctuate the tea bag with a few holes – this will provide the hot composting bacteria easier access to the tea bag, accelerating its breakdown pace. These may then be put to your kitchen caddy and combined with your next ‘feed’ in the compost bin. Alternatively, if you prefer not to include the tea bag, you may pour the tea residue from your tea bag into the caddy and discard the empty bag in the household trash.
Is It Time to Turn Over Your New Leaf of Tea?
Why not try reusing muslin tea bags, 100 percent biodegradable silk or banana pulp tea bags, or maybe switching to loose leaf tea, which some say makes for a superior cup of tea regardless of its lack of convenience! Loose tea leaves may then be added directly from the cup or pot (after a short squeeze), obviating the need for plastic and bleaching while also degrading more quickly and effectively.
Everything is malleable. Tazo tea bags may now be composted, however I recommend contacting customer support if you have any questions. Simply because there is no indication on the package does not indicate the bags are not biodegradable. Best of luck!