How To Know If Plastic Food Storage Container Recyclable
Its easy to identify whether a plastic food container is recyclable or not by finding the number inside the triangle on your plastic food container. This will range from one to seven if you look closely and reveal the type of plastic used.
- Containers with a 1 or 2 are generally recyclable, whereas those with a 3 or 4 arent.
- Numbers 6 and 7 are not recyclable because they contain various materials.
- When a container is made up of various things, it is given the number 7. This could be a small piece of packing or a piece of plastic film off the top of the container.
What Are My Disposable Container Options
Disposable containers come in many designs. The hinged option with microwave-safe construction is the most convenient, and lids can be removed from perforated-hinge varieties. Some are made to resist leaks and grease specifically, while environmentally friendly options such as disposable take out containers made of recycled paper are also available. Pairing a container base with a plastic or laminated board lid will ensure food stays warm during transportation or when displayed.
Popcorn boxes, bags, and buckets are more specialized disposable containers designed for niche food containment, though they are just as essential. Popcorn bags are the smallest option, holding portions that range from 1 ounce to several pounds popcorn buckets can provide giant servings, the plastic versions being especially ideal for retail and popcorn boxes are most sensible for customers to carry. Some popcorn boxes can even be closed for convenience when consumers are on the go. These varieties of popcorn-holding vessels are designed to attract customers with their vibrant designs, increasing sales. They’re recommended for movie theaters as well as festivals or food stands. Specialized to-go containers simplify cleaning and eliminate the need for dishwashing.
Where Can I Recycle Plastic Close To Me
Other countries have gone even further and have put into affect an extended producer responsibility, or EPR on manufacturers of single-use products. A great example of this is Green Dot, out of Germany, although it is now law in 50 countries around the world, which requires companies to pay for the environmental cost of their packaging businesses. This could be very important for a country like the U.S. where only 31% of its plastic beverage bottles get recycled, and the rest ends up in a landfill, or on the ground, or makes its long journey out to sea.
Whatever your reasons are for recycling, whether it is to make some extra cash, or help the environment, or both perhaps it should be the responsibility of everyone to lend that extra hand. Many years from now when future generations look back at all the materials that we buried in the ground, they may simply think how silly we were for filling our landfills with resources. So, get to a plasticrecycling facility near you and put that plastic to good use.
You May Like: Food Places That Donate To Nonprofits
Listed Below Are Examples Of The Food Containers That Can Be Placed In Your Recycling
- Ready meal bowls/containers
- Microwaveable ready meal bowls/containers
- Snack containers
- Fish containers
- Prepared fish containers
- Fresh fruit containers
- Fresh vegetable containers
- Prepared vegetable lidded boxes
- Containers for bakery goods
- Black plastic trays with clear plastic lids
- Trays inside boxes of chocolates
- Dessert containers
- Prepared fruit containers
- Tubs for bakery goods
- Dessert mini-pots or tubs
- Tubs for pasta sauces
Does Tupperware Go Bad
Plastic Tupperware, technically speaking, can have a lifespan of 10+ years, depending on how often we use it and HOW we use it. However, there is no need to extend their life dramatically. As I mentioned above, they can get stained by acidic foods such as garlic or tomatoes and collect unpleasant scents, both of which can reduce the life expectancy of the container when not removed as soon as possible.
The same thing will happen if you expose them to flames if they break, if they get scratched or if the lids no longer serve their purpose. Basically, Tupperware itself does not go bad over time, but if we do not take care of it, it will not help us store nor enjoy our food. Instead, it will ruin it or threaten our health.
Don’t Miss: Food Bank Of Central Missouri
Use Our Waste Whiz Search Tool
Or check the options under the “Need help?” to report a concern or get other assistance.
This site determines waste services for residents living in single and semi-detached homes in Waterloo Region. Apartment buildings, businesses, condominiums and townhouse residents should call the Region’s 24 / 7 customer service team at 519-575-4400 for more information.
How To Recycle Plastic Food Containers Here Are Some Tips
Recycling plastic is a no-brainer these days. Theoretically, it should be pretty easy. Use up the product, rinse out the container, toss it in the recycling bin. Voila! Off it goes to its inevitable reincarnation. Simple, right?
Not so fast. The reality is unfortunately far more complicated. Americans are locked into a dysfunctional relationship with plastic. Collectively, we generate approximately 33 million tons of plastic trash each year, but less than 10 percent of that actually gets recycled. And even if you want to recycle the stuff, the multiple typespolyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and so forthlead to confusion about how and what plastics can successfully be accepted by most recycling programs. This is a common problem with food containers: Are those plastic clamshells that contain greens recyclable? What about that yogurt container? And that ketchup bottlecan the lid go in the blue bin, too? Its confusing.
I think the public cares, but they have no idea what the numbers at the bottom of plastics mean, says Mitch Hedlund, executive director of Recycle Across America, an advocacy group that has created a standardized labeling system for recycling bins. There is a lack of national communication to help the public know the difference between plasticswhat is recyclable and whats not.
- If you must collect your recycling in a plastic bag, use a clear or see-through blue bag.
You May Like: Good Shepherd Food Bank Locations
How To Recycle It
Look for curbside, school, work, or public space recycling bins, or find local recycling drop-off centers. In some states, beverage containers have a deposit refund and can be returned to the store where they were purchased.
For lotion bottles and other toiletry items with pumps, empty the contents, discard the pump, and recycle the bottle. For no-pump containers, simply empty the contents, re-screw the cap to keep it all together, and recycle. Check your local ordinances for specific instructions this category is easily contaminated with incorrect preparation or the wrong materials.
What Do Recycled Plastics From Bottles And Containers Become
Once collected, mixed plastics are sorted, baled, and sent to a reclaiming facility. There the plastics are cleaned, washed, and ground into flakes. The flakes are dried, melted, filtered, and formed into pellets. These are sent to a manufacturer to be heated and remolded into a new product.
Depending on the kind of plastic, recycling might give a product new life as fiber for clothing, carpeting, car parts, or strapping. Or it could become a cutting board, a durable outdoor deck, a bench, plastic lumber, playground equipment, or maybe even a recycling bin.
You May Like: Santa Barbara County Food Bank
What Plastic Types Are Recyclable And Which Ones Are Not Recyclable
Plastics are as versatile as they are recyclable. Recycling your plastics reduces its impact on the environment. However, not all plastics were created equal.
While buying plastic containers, you must have seen certain numbers from 1 through 7 on the bottom or side of the container. They can be easy to miss, but these numbers are significant as they are the plastic IDs.
These numbers are known as Resin Identification Code or recycling number and assist consumers who want to sort and recycle different types of plastic containers.
The Resin Identification Code helps to recycle plants and collectors, and consumers to determine what items will be accepted and how theyll be processed.
Plastics with number 1 are polyethylene terephthalate, popularly known as PET or PETE plastics, and are the most frequently recycled ones.
Plastics with number 2 are high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, stronger than PET plastics.
Plastic 3 is Polyvinyl Chloride .
Plastic 4 is LDPE or Low-Density Polyethylene.
Plastic 5 is Polypropylene or PP and has a high melting point.
Plastic 6 is Polystyrene, PS, and is an incredibly versatile plastic.
Finally, plastic 7 has no name for its category and is more of a miscellaneous category because it is made from multiple plastic types that recycling facilities cannot easily recycle.
It All Starts At Home
The first line of defense against the polluting effects of plastic containers is at your household, and you dont need much to start recycling today. The first thing to do is separate plastic containers from other garbage. It would be nice to have a special bin for the plastic containers but its not absolutely necessary right off the bat a few transparent bags would be just fine.
In addition, you should remember that most plastic containers come with some sort of a lid or cap which are recyclable as well. There are two ways to deal with the lids compress the plastic container and put the lid back on or place the lids in a separate recycling bin.
The lids are sometimes made of a different type of plastic therefore they are recycled separately. Whats more, some recycling facilities accept only the containers, so it pays to ask around and avoid being turned down. But its not too much of an effort to go the extra mile and remove the lids anyway.
Another thing to keep in mind is that recycling shouldnt be limited to your kitchen. There are plastic containers in your bathroom, laundry room, and garage. Detergents, shampoos, cleaning and gardening products usually come in recyclable containers.
Don’t Miss: Food Banks In Riverside Ca
What Should I Replace My Plastic Tupperware With That Is More Sustainable
No one can deny that plastic has covered many needs in our daily lives, even going as far as depending on it while ignoring many other materials such as glass, stainless steel, and bamboo. Undoubtedly, these are much better eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. However, it’s essential to keep in mind what type of material we need depending on the food we want to store and where. Definitely, the most popular choice for food storage is glass.
If you already have glass containers at home, go for it! They’re an excellent alternative to Tupperware. With glass, you don’t have to worry about the leaching of toxic chemicals from a plastic product such as BPA or lingering unpleasant odors, as it is a non-porous material. If it does get stained, a good wash with soapy water will keep it as clean as a hound’s tooth. Plus, it resists high temperatures!
However, the glass falls short in the sustainability department. Although it is 100% recyclable, currently, only 40% is recycled. Because the sand that is used to make glass is taken from riverbeds and seabeds , it creates disruptions in the ecosystem. It leaves nearby communities open to flooding and erosion.
What Types Of Plastic Can Be Recycled Near Me
Fortunately it is easy to locate plastic recycling near me, but know what can and cannot be recycled is where it gets a bit confusing. Here is some information on the different types of plastic.
Any plastics numbered 1 thru 7.
Empty plastic containers, such as:
- Plastic laundry baskets
- Polystyrene products: egg cartons, containers, plates and cups
- Plastic bags: film plastics, dry cleaner bags, and grocery bags
- Food and blister packaging
Please make sure that you at least wipe out these items. Washing them thoroughly is wasting too much water.
Plastic is an insanely durable material that resists decomposition, with a presumed life span of over 500 years. Its safe to say that every bottle youve ever used is still somewhere on the planet, although not necessarily in its original form. Plastic bottles get sold, shipped, melted, resold, and shipped again, sometimes crossing the entire planet.
You May Like: How Many Food Banks Are In America
How To Recycle Used Food Storage Containers
Through the Rubbermaid Food Storage Recycling Program, you can easily recycle all brands of food storage containers for free. Even though Rubbermaid has sponsored this program, you can still recycle any brand of plastic or glass food storage containers, like Tupperware, Pyrex, OXO, or even generic brands.
To recycle, simply sign up on the TerraCycle program page for the U.S. or Canada and collect your used plastic or glass food storage containers TerraCycle requests you collect at least seven pounds, or 20 containers, before you ship to limit the environmental impact of transportation. Pack the containers up in a shipping box, then print out your pre-paid shipping label, and ship your used containers through UPS.
Before shipping, make sure the containers are empty, but you do not need to clean them before sending them. If you do wash them, make sure they are dry before shipping because UPS will not accept wet or dripping packages.
What Is The Best Way To Recycle Plastic Food Storage Containers
Before putting your plastic food storage containers and lids in the recycling bin, make sure they are embossed with the recycling symbol. Generally, a universal recycling symbol consists of a number inside, so you can recycle the container if you see a 1 or 2. Most recycling programs accept number 5 but check with your local recycling service if youre unsure.
- Before placing goods in the recycling bin, make sure they are clean and rinsed. No food, liquids, or other contamination is permitted.
- Inquire about the recycling of plastic bottle lids.
- Avoid using the recycling bin for aluminum foil, plastic utensils, Styrofoam containers, plastic wrap, or plastic wrappers.
- Use a clear or see-through blue bag if you must gather your recyclables in a plastic bag.
Don’t Miss: How To Donate Food To Afghanistan
How Long Plastic Food Storage Containers Are Good To Use
A standard plastic food storage container is suitable for a few months if you treat it gently. According to a business representative, plastic food containers have a shelf life of five to ten years if used as directed.
Plastic food containers are not easily broken or cracked, but if you do, its time to stop using them because a broken container no longer serves its purpose, and a cracked one can be harmful to your food.
Also, check out our ultimate guide on Stasher Bags, for more information about the topic.
What Can You Put In A Bottle
Any kind of plastic wrappers, foams, packaging, and cellophane can be stuffed inside the bottle, and take note to not include any kind of metal, glass, paper, or biodegradable stuff. This means that all your plastic should be rinsed clean and dry. Use a bamboo or wood stick to press the plastic down and stuff more inside your bottle.
You May Like: Second Harvest Food Bank Maryville Tn
Ways To Upcycle Old Tupperware That Cant Be Recycled Or Sold
Instead of recycling or selling your old plastic Tupperware because its too damaged or it cant be recycled, you can put them back to work! Repurposing or upcycling Tupperware can seem like a daunting task, especially if you think your arts and crafts skills are far from being at least decent. But Im here to give you good news: it doesn’t take excessive creativity to give those containers a second chance! Here are some ideas to repurpose your old plastic Tupperware:
Plant pots or herb planters: Both the Tupperware lid and the container itself can be used as ingenious plant pots for small indoor plants or as herb planters, taking advantage of its small size and durability. In regards to the lid, if you make some holes in it, it will serve as a saucer to collect the excess water when watering the plants. So get some cilantro seeds, oregano seeds, or a small cactus, and start growing!
Organizer box for office supplies, makeup, or arts and crafts materials: Whether you need to store paper clips and post-its, lipsticks and beauty blenders, or charcoal sticks and kneaded erasers, you don’t need to buy those multi-level organizers that dominate Amazon. All you need is a little creativity and the motivation to create one using your old plastic Tupperware!
Jewelry boxes: The smaller Tupperware will fit you like a glove for storing loose jewelry in a drawer. Earrings, bracelets, rings, and virtually any type of small jewelry will fit into your original upcycled jeweler!
Can Rubbermaid Containers Be Recycled
Recycling in partnership with Rubbermaid As part of a commitment to sustainability, Rubbermaid® is partnering with TerraCycle® to provide a recycling solution for well-used food storage containers. When it is time for an upgrade, recycle plastic and glass food storage containers of any brand through this program.
Recommended Reading: Food Bank Of Eastern North Carolina
What Can You Do With Old Food Storage Containers
Recycle your old food storage containers. As an alternative, you could use them to store nuts, screws, bolts, and other tools in your garage. Or shine them up to hold some bathroom items or your compost out in the garden.
Reusing your storage containers will make your kitchen more aesthetically pleasing and leave you feeling good about doing the right thing for the environment.
You can check out the current prices of these Plastic Deli Food Storage Containers on Amazon here.