Can You Compost Tea Bags? (Step by Step Process)

There are a variety of tea bags available to tea drinkers. But, if you use these tea bags regularly, what would you do with those tea bags after brewing? We know most of you have no other option but to dump them in the bin. There is, however, a more convenient way to use it, that is, you can compost the tea bags.

Yes, tea bags can be composed; but they should be made up from some biodegradable materials. If your tea bag is made up of plastic or other non-biodegradable material, it cannot be decomposed. Yes, you can compost the leaves inside the tea bags as well.

Tea leaves can be added to your compost bin. However, it is one of the most delicate uses of waste tea leaves and bags, and it can even increase the speed of decomposition. You can add your tea bags to the compost bin after checking that the bag is made up of organic material.

Moreover, it is not necessary to put tea bags into compost bins. Instead, you can quickly put your tea bags/coffee/loose leaf into the root zone of the plant.

Process of Composting Used Tea Bags:

The process of composting tea bags is quite simple. You can sustain organic waste and brewed tea bags in three ways:

  1. By adding organic waste material.
  2. Entomb tea bags.
  3. Vermicomposting. 

Compost tea bags by adding organic material

It is the best method of composting tea bags recently. With the use of this method, you can easily compost the tea bags in your backyard. And you can follow the mentioned steps below:

  1. Only use tea bags that are not made up of plastics.
  2. Just throw the tea bags into the kitchen/gallon bucket.
  3. If the bucket is full, then empty it in the compost bin outside.
  4. Mix the teabags into the compost pile.
  5. Add coffee ground in the compost pile. 
  6. Mix the compost regularly. It will increase the speed of composting.
  7. Leave it for 3 to 6 months for decomposition of every substance. 

Note:- Turning or mixing will increase the speed of composition, preventing your composting heap from the stinking pile. The rate of decomposition also depends on place and temperature.

Entomb tea bags or burying tea bags in the soil

It is the simplest method of composting tea bags. Many gardeners use this method to provide the essential nutrients and beneficial microbes to the plants with a straightforward step. You don’t need to do anything, just bury the tea bags into the soil in the root zone.

Compost tea bags with worm composting bin

Vermicomposting is very popular with home gardeners. The worms are essential for garden soil, and their castings add crucial nutrients to the soil.

Composting used tea bags in compost bin

Follow these steps to worm compost the tea bags

  1. Prepare a compost bin.
  2. Find the best space for the compost bin.
  3. Add paper tea bags into the bin.
  4. Add organic material into the bin.
  5. Wait for two weeks to grow beneficial microbes in the bin.
  6. Add worms into compost. (especially red worms)
  7. Harvest the finished compost by the composting bin.

Things That You Must Remember During And After Composting:

If you are composting your garden’s tea bags, you should remember the mentioned points to yield better.

  • Only use the tea bags, which are made up of biodegradable material.
  • Remove the staples before adding the teabags into the composting bin.
  • Do not add strings and tags which are made up of plastic/nylon. 
  • Do not throw tea bags and the tea leaves directly into the worm bin.
  • Teabags that you use in composting should be stored in a cold and wet place. 
  • Mix the compost properly to prevent it from decay.
  • Do not use an excessive amount of coffee grounds. 
  • Remove the particles of tea bags that do not break down in the comping bin. 
  • Do not use an excessive amount of compost in a single plant. 

Abiotic Compost Tea Bags Have Several Benefits Including:

The tea bag compost is beneficial for gardening. There are many benefits of the use of tea bags compost; some of them are listed below.

  • Compostable tea bags can increase the fertility of the soil.
  • Increase the soil holding capacity of the roots.
  • It contains thousands of beneficial microorganisms.
  • It is suitable for the ecosystem.
  • It helps the plant to survive in the worst conditions. 
  • It is economically better than chemical fertilizers.
  • It maintains the soil’s pH. 
  • It can decrease the need for water in the soil.
  • It can increase the fertility of the soil.

Common Queries People Have When Looking To Compost Tea Bags:

Are teabags green or brown compost?

Yes, tea bags are both green and brown compost. Because teabags contain many beneficial microorganisms like fungi and bacteria that are nitrogen-rich, it is green compost. On the other hand, good compost teabags contain straw, paper tea bags, and loose-leaf, which have carbon-rich parameters; hence it is a brown compost too.

Can you compost tea bags with staples?

Staples are generally used to seal and tie a string to the tea bags. It is made up of metals which is not a biodegradable material. So do not add staples into compost. Or you can remove it before using it for composting. 

Do tea bags make good fertilizer?

Yes, tea bags make good fertilizer and are a popular form of compost that many people can make at home and use. Because it contains many of the valuable nutrients and moisture for the plant and the soil. You can easily find tea bags in the house, and it makes green and brown compost which is very good for plants and soil.

Are teabags biodegradable?

Generally, tea bags are made up of food-grade plastic, which is not biodegradable. But some companies make their tea bags from filter paper or cotton and silk that makes them biodegradable. Hence all the tea bags are not biodegradable.

Can compost worms eat tea bags?

During vermicomposting of teabags of many sorts, the teabags begin to crack up, and the worms start eating them. Hence, the result is that no traces are left in the composting bin unless the tea bags are made up of food-grade plastic, and ensure that the string, tags, and staples are removed before composting.

Which brands of tea bags are compostable?

There are many companies like Abel & Cole, Clipper, PG Tips, Lipton, and Teapigs that use biodegradable materials to make tea bags which makes them compostable.

Can you compost PG tips tea bags?

In the past, PG Tips made their teabags with polypropylene (basic plastic), but now, they successfully changed their tea bag’s material into biodegradable, recyclable, and plastic-free. So you can compost the PG Tips tea bags easily into any composting process.

Can you compost Twinings tea bags?

Twinings tea bags are made of paper based on the plants, and they are heat-sealed; they do not contain any amount of plastic in tea bags and the string and tags. Hence it is entirely biodegradable when it is placed into the composting bin.

Can you compost Tetley tea bags?

If you are looking to compost Tetley tea bags, you can not compost them presently because most of the teabags from Tetley are packed in a special packing of paper laminated with a thin layer of plastic. But as per Tetley’s website, they will provide biodegradable tea bags in a short time.

Are Clipper bags biodegradable?

Clipper is one of the best companies that made their tea bags from the PLA(Poly-Lactic-Acid), bio-plastic. It does not use synthetic glue or staple to seal the teabags. Instead, Clipper fully uses biopolymer, making it biodegradable.

Can you compost Lipton tea bags?

Lipton produces two tea bags: rectangle-shaped and pyramid-shaped (large tea bags). The rectangle-shaped tea bags are made up of unbleached hemp (bio fiber), making them suitable for compost. But pyramid-shaped tea bags are made up of food-grade plastic and can not be composted.

If a tea bag is made up of plastics then, you should not use them in compost because the plastic won’t break down easily in composting. Sometimes, it may take up to a year to prepare the compost. But, on the other hand, if tea bags are made up of paper, you can easily compost them. And biodegradable tea bag compost will turn out to be very beneficial for your garden. 

  1. Plastic-free tea bags. independent.co.uk