Does your tea bag compost?

Loose leaf tea produces the least amount of waste when compared to tea purchased in tea bags. Loose leaf tea might not be available to you, and you might love some herbal blends you don’t know where else to find.

I’ve compiled this list because there is so much information about composting tea bags, but nobody is talking about which ones we can actually compost. Even worse, many brands have no information about this readily available on their websites. I’ve done the hard work for you and read through websites and contacted customer service.

Happy composting!

Celestial seasonings

These tea bags are 100% compostable!

Bigelow

This tea brand has a mixed bag. All of their teas are said to come in foil pouches, which is definitely avoidable waste. Their site also claims that it’s strings, tags, and tea bags are recyclable, but it is unclear what that means for composting. Another page of their website claims that their “paper filter bags are bleach free and dioxin free”. I head back from customer service after a week, and their regular size tea bags and retail tea bags are compostable, but the "larger size packs of teabags are made from a heat seal paper which does contain a small amount of thermoplastic fibers to seal the teabag, these tea bags are not compostable".

Incredibly, this company is Zero Waste to Landfill! At the moment, the company boasts diverting 92-100% of its solid waste from landfill.

Lipton

Lipton has removed the paper wrappings on individual bags of tea in favor of bags without unnecessary paper and made their boxes more compact. I found no specific answers on their website and contacted customer service. I received a reply directing me to the website’s FAQ page about Rain Forest Alliance certification. Looking at Rain Forest Alliance’s website, they do not have a requirement for tea bag composition.

Tazo

I found no information on Tazo’s website about their tea bags. I emailed customer service and was told that “the cellulose hemp bags sold in grocery locations are compostable and biodegradable. However, the aluminum staple used to close the bag may or may not be, depending on your the area as different cities have different rules for composting. Unfortunately the filterbag envelopes are not recyclable due to the inner liner that keeps the filterbag fresh”.

So, YES the tea bags (but not the staples-duh) are compostable!

Twinings

I found no helpful information on their website and emailed customer service. Their tea bags are NOT compostable. The bags contain plastic and I was told “our current tea bag paper contains approximately 8% recycled plastic which acts as a binder to hold the paper together, and therefore, we cannot consider it to be fully biodegradable and compostable”. Twinings does sell loose tea, however, if you really love their product.

Red Diamond

I found no useful information on their website. I contacted customer service and was told their tea bags are compostable!

Yogi

Yogi tea bags are made from hemp and wood pulp. Compost away!


What other brands or products do you want to see?

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