Are Egg Cartons Recyclable?

Are Egg Cartons Recyclable?

The average American consumes nearly 280 eggs a year! No, that’s not a typo. 

And that means that over 95 million x 1 dozen eggs end up in egg cartons each year.

That’s a whole lot of cartons!

But can we recycle those egg cartons and if so, how? 


Styrofoam Egg Cartons Cannot Be Recycled (But Can Be Reused)

Styrofoam Egg Cartons

Of course, the best way to make sure you’re being eco-friendly with eggs is to keep chickens and make your own chicken coop for them to lay eggs in. 

Then your eggs will last as long as farm fresh eggs do.

However, if that’s not an option, the best thing you can do is avoid eggs which come in styrofoam cartons. 

Styrofoam may be very handy for farmers to ship eggs in but it takes more than 500 years to biodegrade and no curbside service can recycle them. 

Of course, if you must buy these cartons they can be reused in: craft projects, as paint palettes, to keep food in, to be used as toys for pets or small children, to keep jewelry in, to organize things in, to hold birdseed and much more. 


How To Recycle Cardboard And Plastic Egg Cartons

egg cartons

Plastic and cardboard egg cartons, however, can, usually, be recycled. 

The plastic cartons are best sent to curbside recycling where they can be reclaimed after cleaning and be melted down and used again.

We would note though this is better than throwing out plastic cartons – it uses a lot of energy and is still not, exactly, eco-friendly. 

If you’re going to send plastic egg cartons for recycling please give them a wash out first as it makes it much easier to recycle them. 

The best thing you can do with cardboard egg boxes, on the other hand, is to add them to your compost heap.

They’re 100% organic matter and it won’t take long for them to break down and once they do?

You can use them to feed your garden and grow some lovely, tasty fruit and vegetables with them. 


Take Back Program

Take Back Program

Some of the best egg producers also run an eco-friendly “take back” program where they agree to take back your old egg cartons.

The producer then either recycles or reuses the carton and ensures that it never sees a landfill.

This can help reduce the farmer’s cost when it comes to egg production too and keep them competitive against big-agribusiness. 


Final Thoughts On Recycling Egg Cartons

There’s simply no excuse for not recycling or reusing products in the current era, the planet needs it and it’s good for us too as it tends to save us money. 

So, please don’t buy styrofoam egg cartons because they can’t be recycled and do look into whether plastic or cardboard cartons would be best for your needs. 

Together we can eat tasty eggs and make the world a nicer place. 

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