Are Typhoo Tea Bags Biodegradable?
Launched in 1903 by Birmingham grocer John Sumner, Typhoo is one of Britain’s favourite teas. They sell a range of different blends to suit every taste.
Unfortunately, some tea bags contain plastic that’s not biodegradable or recyclable. This means they should never go in your food waste or compost pile.
If you have a compost bin or a food waste bin, you may want to know whether your tea bags are biodegradable bags. This can be tricky because the bag that contains your tea leaves can be made of a variety of materials and is not always suitable for home composting.
One of the most important things to check is the type of material used in the making of the bag itself, and if it is made from a biodegradable plant-based plastic called polylactic acid (PLA). It is not easy for the compost worms and microorganisms that break down your home compost to break down PLA, so it can take a long time.
Fortunately, some of the more popular brands have moved away from using PLA to reduce the amount of packaging they use and improve their eco-friendliness. These include: Bushells, Celestial Seasonings and Typhoo.
Tea bags can be made from many different materials and they all break down differently. Some tea bags are able to be composted while others cannot.
Many brands are working to make their tea bags more environmentally friendly and some have already switched to a biodegradable material. Always check the packaging to make sure that you are buying a tea bag that is biodegradable.
Often, a small amount of non-biodegradable polypropylene is added to paper tea bags to help them hold their shape during manufacture. This is called a sealant and can make up around 25 per cent of the bag.
The Co-Op is developing a fully biodegradable paper tea bag, and it will be available in stores later this year. It is intended to be rolled out across the Co-Op’s own-label standard range and will be fully compostable in food waste collections.
Nemi is an eco-friendly tea cafe that sells brews in pyramid bags made from unbleached soilon that is 100% biodegradable at industrial level and glue-free. The tag on the bag is made from paper that is not laminated and the string on the teabag is joined using ultrasound.
Teabags are the most common type of packaging used for tea, so it is essential that they are recyclable. Millions of tea bags are consumed every day, and with so much waste ending up in landfill, it’s important to ensure that this isn’t damaging the environment.
Many Tea Compost Bag companies are moving away from using plastic for their teabags. For example, Pukka uses a simple stitch of organic cotton instead of polypropylene to hold the bags together.
However, they do still use a small amount of food grade plastic to seal the teabag shut and help keep the shape in hot water. This is a type of plastic called polypropylene terephthalate, or PET.
These types of bags are not fully biodegradable and will take a long time to break down in your home compost bin. They will also leave microplastic particles in the soil that can then get into your drinking water. This is a problem that is still being investigated by scientists today.
Tea bags contain a small amount of polypropylene, a non-biodegradable plastic, which helps to seal and tie the bag. This is why they can’t be recycled or composted.
However, teabag manufacturers have started to take action against this by introducing teabags that are free from this compound. Some of these use a plant-based PLA (polylactic acid) derived from maize starch, which is industrially compostable such as compostable bags.
Others, like Higher Living Teas use unbleached paper with an organic cotton string stitched into the packaging to form the bag. This is a great way to cut out plastic from packaging and reduce excess materials such as tags and strings.
In the UK, Clipper, Barry’s, PG Tips, Stockwell, Thompson’s, Tick Tock, Twinings, and Typhoo all use plastic-free teabags. Other brands, like Pukka and Teapigs go one step further and not only do their teabags not contain any plastic but their tea packaging is also plastic-free.