It is not unreasonable to believe all paper products are recyclable – it is paper after all. If you have read our article on kitchen towels, you will know this is not the case. As with kitchen paper, you should not put used or unused facial tissues in the recycling bin. This is simply due to the length of the facial tissue fibres which are too short to recycle into new paper products.
When we speak of recycling, we are generally referring to recycling collections. However, facial tissues are compostable – nature’s recycling facility. For tissues to be deemed suitable for composting, they should not have been used to clean chemical spills, make-up, oil, or pet… mess.
Facial tissues that have been used to blow your nose are compostable however if you are suffering from a cold or flu, it is not recommended. The average household compost heap will not reach the necessary temperature to kill off those nasty pathogens. It should be okay if you are unlikely to handle the compost heap, but it is better to be safe than sick.
A few tissues can be placed in the food or garden waste bin, but only if approved by your local authority; as before, they must be free of nasties! It is advised to shred the tissues (with your hands), as this will speed up the composting process.
If you are unable to compost your used facial tissues for any of the reasons mentioned above, they should be disposed of in the general waste bin.
It is important to note that bamboo paper products break down faster than regular virgin wood or recycled paper products. Our new unwhitened facial tissues would make a worthy addition to the compost heap, although we strongly recommend making use of them beforehand!