Travelling to the day job by Underground last Friday, I picked up a copy of Metro, the free newspaper. Tucked away inside, this tiny heading caught my eye:
'Plastic (tea)bags in your compost'
Apparently anyone chucking their spent teabags onto the compost in the belief that they're doing some good has been misled! No, no, let's not panic. Tea is still good for the compost but the makers of the bags have been leading us up the garden path. Gardening Which? has been investigating and reports that most teabags are only up to 80% biodegradable with the remainder being polypropylene (the stuff used to seal the bags). The only bag which escapes this environmentally-unfriendly tag is Jackson's of Piccadilly which was found to be free of plastic.
I happened to have a box of Twinings in the cupboard and, on further reading, they definitely claim that the box is recyclable and sustainably sourced, the 'foil' wrap around the bags is, in fact, wood pulp and that "the teabags themselves are biodegradable". (Harrumph. Liar liar, pants… etc)
Garden Organic have responded to the Gardening Which? report by saying that it's okay to carry on composting tea bags but they should be torn first (which I do anyway); alternatively, we could always get out the teapots and use loose tea. Anyone for having their tea leaves read?
You can join the debate (and read the report) on tea bags here at the Guardian's environmental pages.
Oh … and one more thing: I love the cheerful mini Gerberas and daisy-grass (Armeria Maritima) on my kitchen windowsill, background of photo above. At a bargain £1.29 and £1 respectively from Morrisons last week, I bought several and they're about to be planted up into an Ikea wooden video rack found last week at the recycling centre. And monkey? brought out of retirement on top of the wardrobe to star in another PG tips production shoot!