Where does your used tea bag go?


Honestly, I prefer tea over coffee. I love the smell of coffee but not so much the taste. Maybe some of you are tea drinkers as well. I’ve recently wondered what to do with my leftover bag of chai or green tea. I was slightly aware of the cautionary tales of composting tea bags before, but now I started reading about it and discovered some interesting tidbits.


I just listened to an interview with the CEO of Eden Organic Foods who was not “concerned” but “alarmed” about the lackadaisical attitude towards GMO foods and BPA chemicals allowed by the USDA and FDA and the heavy influence Monsento has with these agencies.

So this not only brings up the question if we should be recycling our tea bags into our compost which eventually ends up in OUR foods, should we be using these tea bags at all? Most bags are made from a variety of plastics like viscose polyethylene terephthalate (PET), nylon, polypropylene and PVC. I don’t know about you but I’m not a fan of consuming ingredients I can barely spell.

The recommended way to brew tea is to boil water which is a higher degree breakdown for at least two of the above mentioned materials. Yummy, plastics. I think I’ll pass.


The easy choice would be to steep your tea using loose leaves. Those can be put in your compost bin. Otherwise, seek out companies that certify their bags are made organically without a plastic compound or chemicals involved. I have found two while doing this research: Eden Organic Foods and Organic India. There are plenty more out there. Add a comment if you are aware of any.

Also, if you are unsure what your tea bag is made of, throw it away. Don’t drop it in your compost bin. It might take a lot longer to decompose than you think. Maybe this is a good reason to stick with coffee. We’ll support that decision anytime!


One response to “Where does your used tea bag go?

  1. I’ve had some questions about specific brands of tea and if they are compostable or not. Basically for this post I researched using the internet (#1 trusted source in the world!) but came up with my best educated answer on the two I mentioned above.

    I think I will need to perform an experiment this summer with different bags of tea and decomposing outside. I will keep you updated with this test and then I can have a more definitive answer on certain brands. – Cort

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