Quick Answer: Can You Compost Tissue Paper?
Yes, you can compost tissue paper that does not have any synthetic coating, glitter, or foil. It helps in absorbing excess water from the compost pile. The tissues that have dried tears or saliva may be composted, but do not add tissues with contents of cold or flu. Avoid adding used tissues with cleaning products or oily foodstuffs.
In this guide, I attempt to answer if you can compost tissue paper!
Keep reading to know more!
Can You Compost Tissue Paper?
Yes, you may compost biodegradable tissue paper. It helps in absorbing excess moisture from the compost pile. But, take care that it does not have foil, glitter, plastic tapes, or shiny coating attached to it. They may slow the decomposition process of the tissue paper and introduce unwanted chemicals into the pile.
Do not compost the plastic wrap wrapping the tissue paper. They may not degrade and clog up the landfills.
You may compost tissue paper used to wipe tears, mucus, and saliva.
Avoid tossing the used tissue paper when you have a cold or flu. Do not use tissues used to wipe oily foodstuffs or cleaning products.
Check out this video on do’s and don’t’s of composting tissues:
How To Compost Tissue Paper With Ease?
Tissue paper is rich in carbon and is considered a brown element of the compost pile. Shred or scrunch them and mix them with the other ingredients of the compost pile.
The different steps in composting tissue paper are as follows:
- Collect the compost pile– Sort out the tissue paper without any contaminants. Do not add tissues with microplastics and other synthetics. Also, do not use tissues with full coverage printing.
- Toss into the compost pile– Mix the tissues in with the pile. Scrunch up or rip the tissue paper into smaller pieces before adding to allow air movement in the heap. Take care not to lay them on top as they may fly away. Add an adequate amount of browns and greens to the compost pile. Too much carbon-rich material may cause dry piles.
- Maintain the pile– Turn the pile occasionally to provide aeration and allow microbes to work optimally. You may use the compost after the tissues are completely degraded.
Here is a video on composting paper:
Is Tissue Paper Biodegradable?
Yes, tissue paper is biodegradable if it is produced from paper pulp. It contains cellulose that is easily broken down by microorganisms. But, it may not be biodegradable if it is made from non-organic products.
If the tissue paper is wrapped in plastic, it may not degrade easily.
Also, the chemicals in the plastic will harm the beneficial microbes during the decomposition process.
How Long Does Tissue Paper Take To Decompose?
The tissue paper may take on average about 30 to 45 days to decompose. It may vary depending on the time taken for tissue paper to decompose, compost conditions, thickness of the paper, moisture content, and climatic conditions.
A thin paper may be easily decomposed by microorganisms. Also, tissue paper with absorbed moisture will quicken the decomposition process. A dry tissue will take more time to degrade.
A hotter climate will quicken the decomposition process. A colder climate will take time to decompose.
Can You Compost Used Tissues?
Yes, you may compost tissues depending on what you have used them for. It is preferable to compost used tissues that have dried tears or saliva. It is best to avoid tissues that you have sneezed the contents of your nose.
The tissues used to wipe the nose will have germs that will be carried on the compost pile. The standard home composter will not have enough heat to kill those microbes.
So, it is preferable to avoid tossing them into your compost pile.
Also, do not throw tissues covered with yogurt, cream, and oil. Similarly, avoid composting tissues with cleaning products and harmful chemicals.
The tissue paper is very thin with lesse quality fibers. It is difficult to recycle such papers. Also, some of these papers have non-paper additives that can not be recycled. You may recycle tissue paper only if it passes the scrunch test.
No, experts do not recommend flushing tissue paper. It is designed not to break down when it is wet. The water-absorbed tissue may cause wads of tissue to get stuck and clog pipes. It may create blockages and affect the plumbing system.
Yes, you may use the Bokashi system for putting your snotty tissues. The germs may be killed by the acidic conditions created during the fermentation process. But, it may require more Bokashi compost accelerator or bran. You may transfer the fermented product into a regular compost pile.Yes, you may use the Bokashi system for putting your snotty tissues. The germs may be killed by the acidic conditions created during the fermentation process. But, it may require more Bokashi compost accelerator or bran. You may transfer the fermented product into a regular compost pile.
I hope this guide has helped you understand the dos and don’t’s of composting tissue paper.
If you have any other suggestions, please do share them with us.