New Compost Campaign Aims to Recycle Brits' Tea Bags

Staff Writer
More than 370,000 tons of tea bags end up in UK landfills

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

On average, tea drinkers in the U.K. drink about 165 million cups of tea per day — and the majority of those tea bags end up in landfills. Now, the U.K.'s largest tea manufacturer is teaming up with the government to encourage tea bag composting.

PG Tips (a tea brand manufactured by Unilever) has partnered with WRAP, the governmental body in charge of food waste, and two Essex councils in a new ad campaign, reports the Guardian. The PG Tips mascot "Monkey" encourages tea lovers to compost using recycling services. It's the first campaign to directly target tea bags, which WRAP reports 37,000 metric tons of end up in landfills each year.

However, Mother Nature Network reports that PG Tips tea bags aren't fully biodegradable; they contain a small amount of polypropylene, a plastic sealant. Still, WRAP insists that tea bags can — and should — be composted. If you're worried about the plastic ending up in compost, experts say you can rip apart the tea bags to "speed up the composting process" and get rid of the bags.