Are Facial Tissues Compostable or Recyclable?

Facial tissues are really helpful. You can use them when you have a cold or even when you want to wipe away makeup from your skin. They are soft, comfortable, and yet highly durable. Moreover, they can effectively stop germs from spreading from place to place, keeping a lid on bacteria spread within your home or workspace.

However, facial tissues come with serious sustainability concerns. For instance, are they compostable? Can they even be recycled?

Well, that is what we are going to discuss today.

Are facial tissues compostable or recyclable?

While facial tissues can’t be recycled, they can be composted. However, for them to be compostable, they have to be clean and unused or have only been used to clean water, food particles, and plant-based waste.

Why can’t you recycle facial tissues?

Facial tissues aren’t accepted by most recycling programs because the paper used to make them isn’t strong enough to be made into new products. As such, used facial tissues that can’t be composted should just be thrown into the garbage.

What type of dirt makes facial tissues unsuitable for composting?

If you used your facial tissues to wipe away human or pet waste, they can introduce harmful pathogens to your compost, especially if either you or your pet are sick. These pathogens can in turn kill the helpful microorganisms in your compost and mess with your compost.

On the other hand, if your facial wipes have oil, greases, or cleaning products, these chemicals can push out air from your compost and contribute to the growth of anaerobic bacteria.

Can you flush facial tissues?

While it may be tempting to do so, facial tissues should not be flushed. This is because they are usually infused with compounds that make it difficult for them to fully disintegrate in water. So, if you do flush them, they can lead to blockages and mess with your sewage system.

Are facial tissues good for the environment?

While facial tissues seem pretty environmentally friendly, they do come with some serious sustainability issues.

For one, since they are manufactured from wood pulp, their creation can contribute to deforestation.

Secondly, some of them have highly toxic bleaching processes as part of their manufacturing process.

Also, some contain fragrances and a bunch of other additives that have problematic origins.

However, over the years, there has been a shift by manufacturers towards the use of recycled unbleached paper. Using such paper saves 50% water and 60% energy. So if you want to use facial tissues and reduce your negative environmental impact, it is best to go with those labeled as 100% recycled and unbleached.

Alternatively, you could switch to sustainable options such as bamboo facial tissues. These are super soft, skin-friendly, and hypoallergenic.

Compost or throw away

If you can’t compost facial tissues, it is just best to throw them away. This will ensure that they don’t cause any more harm to your environment or sewage system.

Also, the more natural the facial tissues you use, the better!

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