Can you compost our tea bags?
Our pyramid bags are made from food-safe polyester and can’t be put in your food waste but can be recyclable within your regular plastic waste. This does require the contents to be emptied before disposing of here.
When Joe launched the company in 2012 we used a biodegradable material made from corn starch. However, this material is derived from genetically modiﬁed (GMO) cornstarch and in 2014 the Soil Association implemented a ban on the use of this product to all their certiﬁed organic partners as they did not want any association with GMO crops.
To maintain our organic license we moved to food-safe polyester as this is and remains the only alternative available in the global tea industry.
This is still the case and we are working towards a realistic date for a non-GMO biodegradable solution which we believe will be the summer of 2020.
What are our tea bags made from?
Our pyramid tea bag material is food-safe polyester that is fully recyclable. To dispose of them after use, simply empty the contents onto your compost at home or in your council collected food waste, and pop the pyramid bags into your normal recycling.
Why don’t we use biodegradable bags?
The biodegradable bags available on the market contain starch from GMO corn crops and so we won’t (and can’t under our Soil Association organic license) use them. Biodegradable pyramid bags are made from a bioplastic called PLA (polylactic acid), which in turn is made from a starch derived from genetically modiﬁed corn, see above for our stance on GMOs.
Biodegradable pyramid bags simply may be fully composted under the right conditions of heat, pressure and added enzymes. Your council (or waste contractor) must have the technology to do so, and if it doesn’t the tea bags will be sent to landﬁll or incinerated.
Our organic tea and ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced mostly from small hold farmers, always bought directly and purchased above fair trade price. As a business, we take a holistic approach and we’re constantly analysing our practices across the entire supply chain to promote continual improvement. The pressure is on for a manufacturer to create the perfect eco-friendly, biodegradable pyramid tea bag made without the use of GMOs and that is approved by the Soil Association, and as soon as this is available we will use it, immediately.
We encourage you to ask questions
Ask your local council or your waste contractor what they do with your waste, recycling and compostable materials, and put pressure on them to drive change if you’re not happy with their answers.