The Home Composter

How to Compost

Compost safely

Which bin to choose?

Your compost ingredients

Empty your compost bin

To turn or not to turn?

How long to compost?

Worms & Wormeries

Topical Composting

Compost kitchen waste

Prickly prunings

Weeds and weeds

Too much grass

Leaves for Leafmould

Seasonal Tips


Unwelcome Guests

Leaflets to download


Composting demonstrated

Can teabags be composted?

We always recommend that gardeners put their used tea bags in their home compost bins but some tea bags leave a plastic web behind once the tea leaves have rotted away.

Organic teas  are usually contained in unbleached paper bags and should rot down completely in a few months.

But many tea bags contain a plastic called polypropylene that is not biodegradable and it is this that leaves the residue. Which? Gardening contacted a number of tea companies to find out what proportion of their tea bags are fully compostable. These are their results:
Twinings have 0% polypropylene
Sainsburys Taste the Difference English Breakfast tea (Fairtrade) has 1%
Morrisons M English Breakfast tea has 10%
PG Tips tea bags have 20%
Yorkshire tea bags have 25%
So the more polypropylene the more bits of plasticy stuff you are going to find in your compost.

However it is always worth putting tea bags in your home compost bin as the leaves and paper parts add good structure and some nutrients.
If you wish to use your compost for seed sowing or potting on, you will need to sieve out the bits of twigs and slow to rot stuff anyway.

See Composting Kitchen Waste for more advice or download our leaflet on composting kitchen waste

Composting problem?
 Contact us if you would like us to answer your query. We'll try to give a helpful answer!

This page is sponsored by Scottish Borders Councilsbc logo

More information about recycling can be found on :
 Scottish Borders Council Reduce Reuse Recycle

Also try Zero Waste Scotland