If you’re a tea lover, no doubt having at least a cup of tea a day is an integral part of your daily routine. And, you definitely don’t go to a café or a tea bar every day to get just a cup of tea.
Most tea lovers like me love to make their own tea at home. If you’re one of us, then you most probably have a packet full of tea bags always available in your kitchen.
The tea bag is thrown away by most of us along with the tea leaves as it turns into just a waste material after use. And many of us choose to put it down the garbage disposal.
And it is obvious why you would unnecessarily increase the load of your waste bin when there’s garbage disposal for an easier solution.
But is putting tea bags down the garbage disposal actually a good idea? That’s what I’ll be discussing throughout this whole article. Have a look!
Can You Put Tea Bags in Waste Disposal?
You might put tea bags in the waste disposal but it’s risky for your disposal blades. As there’s a possibility of the disposal blades getting tangled with the strings of the tea bags.
Even though the string or thread attached to the tea bags are not too strong that can’t be torn apart at all, they aren’t fragile enough to be cut down by the garbage disposal blades as well.
That is why there remains a risk of the strings getting tangled with the blades, though it doesn’t most of the time.
Also, generally, there are stickers or tags attached to the other end of the string of a tea bag. You should never put the tea bags at the waste disposal along with these tags.
Because the tags won’t get chopped off rather will get stuck to the blades of the garbage disposal or the walls of the pipes.
And it might further stick other discarded food items with it. Or, it might even lessen the ability of the blades to shred the disposed of foods properly.
Do Tea Leaves (Tea Bags) Block Drains?
Plain loose tea leaves have the potential to clog the drains gradually. But when it comes to the tea leaves within the tea bags, they are too short to form a blockage in the drain.
But if you use a lot of tea bags at a time and decide to throw them down the sink, you might regret it.
Because even though the tea inside the tea bag is very short in size, that doesn’t change the fact of it being leafy and fibrous to form a clog.
Tea bags dumped in larger amounts down the sink have a good chance to form a clog in the drain due to too much fibrous element.
Moreover, the thin tea bag material that holds the tea leaf inside it together is also made of fibrous components. And so, they contribute to the formation of clogs in the drains too.
Besides that, it is required to be mentioned that most of the thin and semi-transparent tea bags made by popular and well-appreciated tea companies are manufactured by a kind of very thin sheet of plastic known as polypropylene.
And when you put them down the drain or garbage disposal, you know where the drain will ultimately take them right?
These shredded plastic residues of tea bags that are undegradable end up in the ocean which further harms many aquatic creatures and causes massive water pollution.
That’s why if you have tea bags from some of the most well-known and fairly expensive tea companies such as Tetley, Twinings, Typhoo, etc., then you should avoid throwing them down the garbage disposal or drain to reduce the level of environmental pollution from your side.
How Do You Dispose of Wet Tea Bags?
By now, it should be kind of clear to you that disposing of the wet tea bags in the garbage disposal is not the best way for disposing of it.
So, let’s come to the best solution of disposing of the wet tea bags.
If you want you can still dispose of only the tea leaves inside the tea bags in the garbage disposal after separating them from the thin plastic tea bag.
But you need to make sure that you don’t throw away more than one tea bag of tea leaves to the garbage disposal at a time as it might lead to clogs.
As per the best solution to disposing of a wet tea bag is concerned, throwing them in the waste food bin of your house is the best option.
If you’re thinking about whether you can put them in your compost bin along with other food items, then there’s something you need to consider.
You guessed it right! It’s the undegradable thin plastic bag.
If you put the whole tea bag along with the plastic covering in the compost bin, after all the food particles decompose, you’ll still notice traces of the plastic skeleton in it.
There are two things you can do in this regard. One is that you can remove the plastic skeleton from the compost after the tea decomposes along with the other food particles.
In that case, the plant fibers of the thin tea bag will also be utilized in composting along with the tea leaves.
The other thing you can do to simplify the issue is putting only the tea leaves of the tea bags in the compost bin by splitting the thin tea bag.
And then throw the thin plastic wrap into the general waste food bin in the house which will further be taken away by the weekly garbage collecting vans of your area.
In this way, you are preventing your compost from getting contaminated by the harmful components of the plastic.
I hope there’s no question left on your mind about putting tea bags in the garbage disposal.
At the end of the day how you dispose of your used tea bags is completely your decision. So, choose wisely.
A better option is just switching to loose tea leaves instead of tea bags. They are more flavorful and easier to dispose of. So, give a thought to it.
James is an organic fertilizer professional who owns a successful organic fertilizer company in new jersey. He is an expert in waste management in both houses and community cases. In his free time, he loves to write about his experiences in the field.