Are Tissues Compostable? (And When Is a Trash Bin the Better Option?)

As more and more people are looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly, the question of what can and cannot be composted is becoming increasingly important. Tissues are a common household item, but are they compostable? And when is a trash bin the better option?

Can You Compost Tissues?

There are many items that we use on a daily basis that we don’t think twice about throwing in the trash. However, with the increasing focus on sustainability, it’s important to think about the items we’re throwing away and whether or not they can be composted. So, can you compost tissues?

When Are Tissues Not Safe to Compost?

There are a few instances when it is not safe to compost tissues. If you are sick with a contagious disease, it is best to throw your tissues in the trash so as not to contaminate the compost. These oils can be harmful to plants. Similarly, if you have a cold or allergies and are using tissues that contain menthol, eucalyptus, or camphor, it is best to compost them. Finally, if you have used tissues that have been soaked in chemicals, such as bleach, it is best to throw them in the trash.

How to Compost Tissues

When composting tissues, it is important to check the label to see if the tissues are made of 100% compostable materials. If not, it is best to throw the tissues in the trash. Tissues are often made of compostable materials, such as paper, but they can also contain plastic or other non-compostable materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are tissues compostable?

Tissues are made from paper, which is a natural and renewable resource. However, the way tissue is manufactured and the type of tissue (e.g. bleached vs. unbleached) can affect its compostability.

2. How do I compost tissues?

Tissues can be composted in a backyard compost bin, worm bin, or commercial composting facility. If you’re composting at home, you can add tissues directly to your compost pile or bin. Just make sure to tear or cut them into small pieces first.

3. What are the benefits of composting tissues?

Composting tissues reduces waste and helps to create a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Composting also reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

4. Are there any drawbacks to composting tissues?

The main drawback to composting tissues is that it can take longer for them to break down compared to other organic materials. This is because tissue is made of cellulose fibers, which are slow to decompose.

5. What should I do if I can’t compost my tissues?

If you can’t compost your tissues, the next best option is to throw them in the trash. However, you can also try to recycle them. Some recycling facilities accept tissue paper, but it must be clean and free of contaminants.

Final thoughts

While tissues are technically compostable, it is often better to throw them in the trash. This is because they break down slowly and can release methane, a greenhouse gas, as they decompose. Tissues also often contain chemicals, like lotions and perfumes, which can be harmful to the environment. So, next time you reach for a tissue, think about whether the trash bin is the better option.