Gardeners urged to put ripped teabags in gardens this month

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Garden enthusiasts are being advised to place teabags in their gardens this summer, but only after tearing them open first.

Composting is a highly beneficial practice for your garden throughout the year, transforming kitchen waste like potato skins, carrot trimmings and banana peels into nutrient-rich compost. This can enhance your garden plants, leading to larger, more robust fruits and vegetables, as well as healthier flowers.

You can initiate a compost pile anywhere in your garden using a simple plastic bin, although there are more costly and sophisticated options available, including wooden composters, multi-opening 'hot bins', and various other stylish solutions.

If you're on a budget, a basic plastic box or an old bin with a lid will suffice if you just add some air holes for the plant bacteria to utilise for decomposition.

However, those adding teabags to their compost have been cautioned - it's essential to tear open the bags first and pour the raw tea leaves directly into the compost, reports the Express.

This is due to the fact that many of the top branded teabags sold today actually contain plastic.

Numerous supermarket brands incorporate plastic in their teabags, which means they will never decompose in your compost, leaving behind a plastic residue that could also contaminate your compost with leached plastic chemicals.

Even plant-based teabags, such as those used by Yorkshire Tea, should be cut open, and the bag disposed of separately, not in the compost bin.

Yorkshire Tea has stated: "PLA tea bags are sometimes called "plastic free", but we've never used that label and WRAP, the people behind the UK Plastics Pact, also advise against it because plant-based plastics are still plastics."

"You can snip open your used tea bags, compost the tea inside at home, and put the bag itself in your refuse bin. If you don't want to do that, the alternative is to put your tea bag in your refuse bin."

Consumer advice magazine Which?

explains: "Tea bags have traditionally been sealed with a plastic called polyproplene, which enables their edges to be heat sealed and stop them falling apart in hot water. Small amounts were used, but it prevented them being composted and, due to the enormous amount of tea bags used in the UK, it generated a large amount of plastic waste."

"The advice from the UK Tea and Infusions Association is to rip open the bags before placing the used tea leaves on your compost heap and dispose of the teabag paper separately in your bin where it will go into landfill."