Tesco to make all its tea bags compostable by summer

Tesco tea packets

Tesco moves to make all its tea bags compostable via food caddies, which the supermarket says amounts to one billion bags a year.

Tesco is introducing plant-based tea bags which it says will allow shoppers to compost their tea bags through kerbside food waste collections.

The UK supermarket says that the newly designed packets of tea will be clearly labelled with information on the correct way to compost the tea bags in the food waste caddy.

The new labelling will state: “We now make our tea bags out of plant-based material. Once used put your tea bag into your food waste bin. Our tea bags biodegrade into compost.”

By April 2023, Tesco says the rest of its own-label tea bags will have been replaced with a compostable plant-based material and by the summer, all of the billion tea bags sold by Tesco – own-brand and branded – will be compostable through council food waste collections.

We hope that making all of our tea bags compostable with clear labelling helps our customers correctly do their bit for the environment.

Tesco Packaging Manager Adele Kearns said: “This is a huge move that will help clear up the confusion for millions of people on how to dispose of their tea bags once used.

“We hope that making all of our tea bags compostable with clear labelling helps our customers correctly do their bit for the environment.”

A new survey by YouGov, commissioned by Tesco, has revealed that shoppers are split on what to do with their used tea bags with millions ending up rotting in landfill sites.

With some tea bags being compostable and others not, shoppers are confused about which bin to put them in, Tesco says.

Only 30% of adults polled said that they knew tea bags contain plastic resulting in confusion and leading to tea bags being discarded in the wrong way.

Adam Herriott, sector specialist, resource management, of climate action NGO, WRAP said: “It’s great to hear of further moves by Tesco, a founding member of The UK Plastics Pact, to make positive changes to their products and make it easier for consumers to tackle plastic waste.

“Now more citizens can enjoy their morning cup of tea safe in the knowledge that once the bag is in their food waste caddy it will break down with the other organic material. However, we must continue to go further, and ensure we bring in more changes that benefit shoppers and the environment.”

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