Tea recycling is in the bag

Steeped in tradition, the humble morning cuppa is now in hot water. With individuals, businesses and organisations across the shire brewing up new ways to reduce plastic waste, attention is turning to tea bags.

Eurobodalla Council’s environmental education officer Bernadette Davis said a surprising number of manufacturers used plastic in their tea bags.

“People do ask if they should compost or recycle tea bags, but there’s no easy answer,” Ms Davis said.

“Some tea bags are made from biodegradable corn-starch or abacá plant fibre; these are compostable. Others include thermoplastic fibres – up to 20 per cent – and should go to landfill.

Ms Davis said consumers should urge tea manufacturers using plastic to switch to compostable bags.

“Why not flick them an email or send them a Facebook message. Find out if they are planning to change,” she said.

“Use your voice for a better choice!

“Or make the switch to loose-leaf tea. All the tea companies do seem to agree that loose-leaf in a teapot makes a superior brew.”

If you’d like to find out which of the popular Australian brands of tea use plastic in their tea bags, head to environmental movement One Million Women’s website at https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/blog/tea-bag-or-not-tea-bag-guide-plastic-free-tea/

Eurobodalla Council will be running free composting and worm farming workshops throughout March, to give residents practical tips to start or improve composting or worm farming at home.

For more information visit www.esc.nsw.gov.au/council-services/water-waste-recycling

Above: Although some tea bags are completely biodegradable and can be composted, others contain thermoplastic fibres – up to 20 per cent – and should go to landfill.

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