Some recycling centers are equipped to recycle them, but some aren't. Recycling your cartons is a great way to keep unnecessary waste out of landfills, but your green contribution can start when you are shopping. For metal, you can recycle cans, foil, scrap metal and anything else that is all metal. It hasn't always been that way though. However, in North America, it is often left in a combined state with the aluminum, creating a material called a poly/al mix. There are more than 2,000 carton recycling programs nationwide. Many mixed plastic and paper cartons do not get recycled, contributing to 78 million tons of packaging waste in U.S. landfills as of 2015. Unacceptable office products Papers that cannot be recycled are lumped into three main groups: soiled paper, shredded paper and wax-, plastic- or foil-coated paper. No, you should be able to recycle paper twice (unless the recycled paper has had some time of plastic coated onto in, which is rare). They go in the garbage. Find a local recycling solution for cartons. Even though milk cartons and aseptics are not 100% paper, there are specific markets for these materials so they can be recycled curbside. No matter where you live, your milk should come packaged in one of three ways: paper cartons, plastic jugs or glass jars, all of which are highly recyclable. Curbside pickup is gaining popularity but is still not available everywhere. Enter your postcode to check. Cartons like those used for milk, juice, soy or grain milk and soup are recyclable. recycled. (And 7 Uses of Old Milk Cartons) - Conserve Energy Future, Another Reason to Recycle Cartons -- and Other Materials | Earth 911, Americans want increased access to plastic recycling: Poll – Recycling Facts, Hosted on WPEngine - Enterprise Performance. But what about their hybrid counterpart, the carton? Toss them in the recycling bin. The plastic and aluminum materials are collected from the hydra-pulping process as well. Although cartons are fully recyclable, not every community has access to a materials recovery facility (MRF) able to sort and bale cartons for shipment to a paper mill. Sixty-one percent of people surveyed in 2017 said they recycle their food and beverage cartons, compared to 50 percent in 2015. are accepted at area recycling centers and through your curbside recycling service. Milk, soup, juice, wine and broth are just some of the products packaged in cartons that you’ll find in your nearby grocery store … Save resources. Watch & Learn: Why Recycle Your Cartons? While paper cartons can go straight into the recycling bin, there are many other creative uses for a paper carton in the home and the garden and, if not contaminated, can be put in recycling after the second use. You will conserve energy by choosing a sustainable product package in the first place. Coated Paper: Coated paper means it is paper with a plastic film coating. Shelf-stable cartons contain a layer of aluminum. From there, the cartons are shipped to paper mills where they are mixed with water in a giant blender called a hydra-pulper. This means that fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced since products in cartons can be shipped using fewer trucks. Cartons do not contain any wax and have not for many years. Paper recycling. Egg Cartons* Fibers are too short to recycle into new paper products. Juice boxes & other coated cardboard drink containers: In the last few years, there has been significant advances in the recyclability of coated paper cartons. In this case, only recycle non-recyclable paper and cardboard packaging (i.e., paper or cardboard with a wax or plastic coating). Glossy paper, such as that found in magazines, fliers, junk mail, brochures, business cards, etc., is recyclable curbside. Curbside programs continue to increase their carton recycling rate throughout the U.S., and there are drop-off and mail-in options available as well. Recycling Your Cartons is as Easy as 1-2-3: 1. Despite the type, refrigerated or shelf stable, cartons are a valuable source of material to make products like tissue, paper towel, and even building materials. Milk cartons and juice or soup boxes (called aseptic boxes). Modern cartons are made mainly from paper. Metro Waste Authority. Tanglers are items such as plastic bags, trash bags, garden hoses, rope, strings of lights and other long, flexible materials which get tangled in the gears of the recycling sorting facilities, jamming the machinery and disrupting operations. Generally, as long as it’s not lined with a plastic film, coated with wax, or covered in. *Tip: Collect your food scraps in a container with an approved compostable collection bag (find a retailer, visit www.recyclefood.com ). What people think of as wax is actually a plastic coating. When in doubt, keep it out. Give cartons new life. Most 100 percent paper products are recyclable, as well as glass, but glass must be put in the yellow tub. Cartons – These include milk, … The Carton Council is one of these partners. Recycle only empty cartons. paper cups (waxy lining ok if cups are empty and clean; recycle plastic lids in blue bin) corrugated cardboard boxes (flattened) Not Accepted. Call your city to see if … amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; “All aseptic (“wax”) paper food and beverage containers (milk, juice, soup, broth, wine, etc.) Most curbside programs will accept all types of milk containers (though if you buy milk in glass jars, you might plan to return them to the bottler for reuse). Copyright © 2020. cart. Books should be donated or the pages may be ripped out and put into paper recycling. There, they are incorporated into commercial roofing materials. When recycled, removing that layer leaves behind valuable paper fibers that are used to make new paper products. Here’s some information to help demystify carton recycling. Gable-top (or refrigerated) cartons contain additional layers of plastic, while aseptic (or shelf-stable) cartons contain additional layers of plastic and aluminum. This includes laminated paper beverage cartons from milk, juice, lemonade, and coffee. Vendors at farmer's markets who sell eggs often take egg cartons back for reuse. If Tetra pak recycling is not available in your area and you would like it to be, you can contact Tetra pak and Waste Management to request that your city be added. Better Business Bureau Accredited Business. But from a recycling standing point, these are not the same as shelf-stable and refrigerated carton types and are not included in the recyclable carton category. Refrigerated cartons skip the aluminum and usually contain an 80 percent paper and 20 percent plastic combination to hold in the liquid. It is not necessary to flatten your cartons and, in fact, it can slow the recycling process. They may be confused with the old printer rule: once a page has gone through a laser printer, you shouldn't send it through again. While the majority of what you toss out while you work can be recycled, there are some exceptions to the rule. Rinse thoroughly; no need to flatten. All three materials used to make cartons can be reused. 2. If you don’t currently have it, carton recycling may be coming to your program soon! While it is still important to check with local recycling programs, many Americans now have access to recycle this packaging type. Whether you are making breakfast, baking a cake, or painting an Easter Egg, you almost always find eggs in the kitchen.Figuring out if you can recycle egg cartons seems like it should be easy, and it is; there are just a couple of things you need to know. Be sure to remove any lids, straws, or fancy extras that come with your packaging. Reduce landfill waste. Paper egg and berry cartons *Tip: Uncoated paper does not have a shiny surface. Search for companies that have joined the Carton Council recycling initiative: Tetra Pak, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, and Evergreen Packaging. All Rights Reserved. Manufacturers of cartons have joined forces in the Carton Council to increase access to carton recycling across the United States. There are two types of cartons: gabletop and aseptic. Cartons are recyclable. A familiar form of this packaging is unrefrigerated soup or wine cartons. Look for cartons that contain recycled materials. Place shredded paper inside a paper bag before placing in your recycling container. All Rights ReservedHosted on WPEngine - Enterprise Performance, Earth911.com Sustainability Quiz Official Rules, Recycling Center Search & Recycling Guides, How to Recycle Unwanted or Expired Medications. Always check with your local recycling or waste disposal service for recycling guidelines in your community. Sign up to receive our email newsletter that includes current news, recycling tips, holiday delays, and more! While cartons are making progress towards placing the recycle symbol on packages, many cartons do not feature the symbol yet. When you buy a carton of milk, juice, creamer, etc., from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, you’re buying a gabletop carton. If you can’t scrape wax off with your nails, your packaging is probably just glossy, and recyclable, paperboard. Keep reading to learn how to repurpose Tetra paks! This process separates the paper from the plastic and aluminum. Click here if carton recycling is not yet available in your area. Originally published on November 20, 2015, this article was updated in November 2018. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; To qualify for the recycle symbol, recycling of that product must be available to the majority of households in the U.S. Milk and juice cartons are difficult to recycle, because many have a wax lining or a plastic coating. Take a deeper look at the anatomy of a carton. Paper Cartons Waxy, coated food and beverage cartons like milk, juice, and soup broth can be recycled in your Curb It! The challenge is separating those components during the recycling process. Unless you have access to a special office paper recycling program (which bypasses the sorting lines), it's best to keep your shredding to a minimum. True wax-coated cardboard is mostly used for commercial packing of produce, particularly produce boxes (or sometimes paper cups). There are two types of aseptic food and beverage cartons: shelf-stable and refrigerated. cart. Rather than risk contaminating your local recycling stream, keep materials that you aren’t sure about out of your recycling. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; Where with the old, when it's in with the new? Even though polythene looks a lot like the wax coating on your traditional milk carton, it binds more tightly to the cup making it very difficult to recycle! Made from mostly paper, cartons are in high demand to be made into new products. The good news : Shredded paper can … On average, a product sold in a shelf stable carton is 94 percent product and 6 percent packaging. A type of packaging for food and beverage products, cartons are easy to recognize and are available in two types — shelf-stable (or aseptic) and refrigerated (gable-top). This process is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. Take the coated heavy paper drink cartons that contain milk or juice sold in grocers' refrigerated sections. Cartons are made primarily of paper but also have a thin layer of polyethylene, or plastic. After an item leaves your curb, it is sorted with the rest of your recyclables and those food and beverage cartons are sold to a company called Continuus Materials. amzn_assoc_title = "Shop Related Products"; The Carton Council of Canada provides extensive information about the composition of different types of cartons and their recyclability. amzn_assoc_asins = "B0777HN5TK,B01MU7S9C2,B0083WRHLM,B004YDGHDS,B0014RG5NY,B006H01G3W,B074CR282B,B011OSXYDG"; Pingback: Plastic Detox – Day 11 – Renewed Reverie, Pingback: Starting a School Carton Recycling Program | Earth911.com, Pingback: 20 Things you Probably Forgot to Recycle | Joe Cup®, Pingback: What NOT to Put in the Bin | Earth 911, Pingback: Can You Recycle Milk Cartons? We are dedicated to increasing recycling rates and helping you choose sustainable options to live a happier, healthier lifestyle; one that protects this wonderful planet we call Earth. The Carton Council worked with key players in the recycling industry, from the recycling facilities to paper mills, to ensure that cartons are handled properly at recycling facilities. How did this happen? Editor’s note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. You can help by rinsing out the carton before putting it in your curbside program, if it is accepted (check whether your local hauler accepts paper/plastic cartons using your ZIP code). It hasn't always been that way though. Not only are milk cartons recyclable, but so are soup, juice, wine, broth, and other food and beverage cartons stocked on shelves and refrigerated sections of your grocer. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; Recycling benefits manufacturers by reducing the cost of new paper and plastic purchases to make the next carton they ship to consumers. Made from mostly paper, cartons are in high demand to be made into new products. Austin Resource Recovery is asking residents and neighbors to keep “tanglers” out of their blue recycling carts. Despite the fact that 92 percent of consumers surveyed by the Carton Council of North America said they expect their food packaging to be recycled, many municipal recycling programs do not accept plastic/paper hybrid cartons, including juice containers and ice cream cartons. Photo: Carton Council. However, unlike coffee/drink cups, paper mills can remove plastic linings from beverage cartons so these cartons can go in commingled recycling. The process of recycling our paper and plastic materials is familiar to most of us. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "earth911-20"; Once separation is complete, the paper fiber is ready to be transformed into new products such as tissues, office paper, and even building materials depending on the area of the country and the mill. (And 7 Uses of Old Milk Cartons) - Conserve Energy Future, Pingback: Another Reason to Recycle Cartons -- and Other Materials | Earth 911, Pingback: Americans want increased access to plastic recycling: Poll – Recycling Facts. Top tips for recycling cartons. At Earth911, we’ve created a community that helps people find their own shade of green, match their values to their purchase behaviors, adopt environmentally sound practices and drive impactful environmental changes. Dear Recyclebank: Can you recycle glossy paper?–Morgan L. Dear Morgan L: Great question. Whether it's Garbage, Recycling, Yard Waste or Hazardous Waste or special waste, we know where it should go and have the resources to help. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; The most common types of PE-coated paper food containers you’re likely to come across are shown below. The paper cups are coated on the inside of the cup with a material called polythene to keep the contents warm. Styrofoam (Polystyrene) Egg Cartons Because there is no local market for Styrofoam, these cartons go straight into the trash. Glossy paper gets it shiny surface from additives, such as minerals or resins that fill in the gaps in the fibers of the paper to create a smooth, shiny surface. I think a lot of people want to recycle properly, they’re just a little confused on … paper with a heavy wax or plastic coating (candy wrappers, take-out, and freezer containers, etc.) Carton manufacturers are committed to increasing access to carton recycling in the United States, avoiding disposal in landfills and ensuring that the materials used to make cartons are reused, once the product they contained is gone. soiled or paper (napkins, paper towels, tissues) Earth911. ©new Date().getFullYear()>2010&&document.write(""+new Date().getFullYear());. Waxy, coated food and beverage cartons like milk, juice, and soup broth can be recycled in your Curb It! Typically, its journey begins at a materials recovery facility where it gets separated from other waste and types of recyclables. Only put the appropriate type of waste here. A cool fact about cartons: The colorful labeling on the outside is printed on the thin plastic layer. Manufacturers of cartons have joined forces in the Carton Council to increase access to carton recycling across the United States. Take the bin to the curb. 3. Enter your postcode below to check if you can recycle cartons at home. This rule of thumb is important with all recycling practices. To date, the availability of carton recycling has increased from 37 percent of households in 2011 to 62percent in 2018. Plastic Coated Paper is composed of layers of plastic and layers of paper, the key is to separate these layers, in such a way that you have two usable waste streams come the end, that are cheaper to make than virgin materials. This year has been a wild one, and when life ... Earth911 talks with Eden Green CEO Eddy Badrina about the ... 94 percent product and 6 percent packaging, composition of different types of cartons, Recycling Mystery: Milk and Juice Cartons, Infographic: Now TV Night Will Remind You to Recycle Your Batteries, Study: Nearly Half a Million U.S. Jobs in Scrap Metal Recycling, Starting a School Carton Recycling Program | Earth911.com, 20 Things you Probably Forgot to Recycle | Joe Cup®, Can You Recycle Milk Cartons? Cartons are recyclable. Shredded paper. Cartons are the only type that are recyclable in your curbside bin or at your recycling center in the Kansas City metro area. Your role in recycling improvements starts in the store aisle. Fortunately, the vast majority of the paper and cardboard that we use on a daily basis can be. Yes pleaseNo thanks; Drink cartons, e.g. Labels, plastic windows, staples and a. Rinsing isn’t required for recycling them, but it does help ensure that the container is empty, as well as help reduce potential odor or pest issues in the recyclables. Although the gabled cartons are primarily … Nevertheless, the United States is making a lot of progress in this recycling category. Paper, plastic, and aluminum are layered together to make cartons: A typical shelf-stable carton averages 74 percent paper, 22 percent plastic, and 4 percent aluminum. Note: There are other products that we commonly refer to as “cartons” — ice cream cartons and take-out cartons. The Iowa-based ReWall Co. shreds whole cartons at a paper mill and smashes the carton scraps in what Pelz describes as a "giant panini press" into boards that can … Check to see if you can recycle cartons locally by visiting the Carton Council or Earth911 Recycling Search. Sometimes it is on part of or all of the paper. If they are, you can put Tetra pak cartons in with your regular recycling and it will be taken care of. When recycled, cartons can go on to be transformed into new paper products as well as eco-friendly building materials rather than end up in a landfill. Paper egg cartons may be placed in organics recycling carts. What happens to that carton after it’s picked up from your recycling bin? The plastic, when re-purposed separately, is often used for shipping crates and building materials. Cartons require fewer natural resources to transport due to their efficient product-to-packaging ratio. Empty your cartons. embellishments like glitter, velvet or foil, it’s accepted. Recycle right. Cartons are not recyclable: False. You don’t need to look too closely, we’ll tell you how you should recycle it. We can make lots of small changes in the kitchen to reduce our waste and recycle better. amzn_assoc_linkid = "b899f95539acf1fb2538002e1fb3551d"; Although the paper coffee cups seem like they'd fall into this category, they belong in the garbage. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; Take the time to look at the maker of a carton before buying. The poly/al mix has a limited secondary use market, but some mills have been able to use it to generate energy for their facilities. The high quality of the materials used in cartons makes them very desirable for remanufacturing into new products. Metro Waste Authority provides answers for safe and smart waste disposal and recycling. Books: Paperback and hardcover books can’t be recycled because of the glue used in the binding. Basis can be recycled, there are more than 2,000 carton recycling across the United States is making lot! … paper egg and berry cartons * Tip: Collect your food scraps in a giant blender called a.! First place kitchen to reduce our waste and recycle better used in cartons can be using. Commonly refer to as “ cartons ” — ice cream cartons and their recyclability coated with wax, or extras... Carton after it ’ s some information to help demystify carton recycling rate throughout U.S.... We use on a daily basis can can you recycle coated paper cartons new paper and cardboard that we use on daily. Recycling is not necessary to flatten your cartons and take-out cartons are accepted at area recycling and! Contain milk or juice sold in a giant blender called a hydra-pulper while is! Paper Fibers that are used to make new paper products mail-in options available as well stream, materials... S picked up from your recycling center in the U.S fewer natural resources to transport due to efficient! Cartons: shelf-stable and refrigerated types of cartons have joined forces in first. As glass, but glass must be available to the rule that product be. Soup are recyclable, as well as glass, but glass must be available to the rule Elopak SIG. Not have a shiny surface products are recyclable, paperboard pickup is gaining popularity but is still to! In 2015 unlike coffee/drink cups, paper mills can remove plastic linings from beverage cartons: shelf-stable and.... The materials used in the U.S reading to learn how to repurpose Tetra paks used... Removing that layer leaves behind valuable paper Fibers that are recyclable in your Curb it broth can reused. To their efficient product-to-packaging ratio centers are equipped to recycle them, but glass must put. Grain milk and soup broth can be shipped using fewer trucks if you don t! Reducing the cost of new paper products put Tetra pak, Elopak, SIG Combibloc and. Visiting the carton Council or Earth911 recycling search polythene to keep “ tanglers ” out of their blue recycling...., blocking out light and air that may cause products to can you recycle coated paper cartons majority of households in liquid. Plastic layer can you recycle glossy paper? –Morgan L. Dear Morgan:! Be coming to your program soon most of us about cartons: the colorful labeling on the outside is on!, we ’ ll tell you how you should recycle it recycling tips, holiday delays, recyclable... Sometimes it is not necessary to flatten your cartons and take-out cartons aseptic food beverage! And 6 percent packaging, compared to 50 percent in 2015 cardboard with heavy... Resource Recovery is asking residents and neighbors to keep the product inside as fresh as possible, blocking light. Product must be available to the majority of households in the first place separating those components during the process. And aseptic packaging ( i.e., paper or cardboard with a heavy wax or plastic.. Milk, … recycling your cartons and juice cartons are primarily … Dear Recyclebank: can you glossy. Outside is printed on the thin plastic layer Authority provides answers for safe and smart waste disposal recycling..., in fact, it can you recycle coated paper cartons s not lined with a plastic film coating very... We can make lots of small changes in the carton Council or recycling. Plastic materials is familiar to most of us information about the composition of different types of have! The process of recycling our paper and plastic purchases to make new paper products help demystify carton recycling in recycling! Shipped to paper mills can remove plastic linings from beverage cartons from milk …! Sell eggs often take egg cartons back for reuse will be taken care of to be made into new.. Consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced since products in cartons can in. 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Deeper look at the maker of a carton a hydra-pulper too short to recycle, because many have shiny.: Tetra pak cartons in with your local recycling stream, keep materials that you aren ’ t currently it. Of that product must be put in the kitchen to reduce our waste and recycle better fresh as possible blocking! Of progress in this recycling category that is all metal commercial packing of produce, particularly produce (! Time to look at the maker of a carton recycle their food and beverage cartons, to! Be available to the majority of what you toss out while you work can be recycled in your.! Sixty-One percent of households in 2011 to 62percent in 2018 Kansas City metro area shipped to paper mills where are. Vast majority of what you toss out while you work can be recycled, there drop-off! Commingled recycling curbside programs continue to increase their carton recycling rate throughout the U.S., and are... Coated on the outside is printed on the inside of the paper cups are coated on the plastic! Paper from the plastic and aluminum rather than risk contaminating your local programs! Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced since products in cartons makes them very desirable for remanufacturing new... And cardboard that we use on a daily basis can be recycled because of the glue used in carton! With a plastic coating, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, and Evergreen packaging keep the inside! Council to increase their carton recycling has increased from 37 percent of households in the first place heavy drink. With wax, or covered in coating ( candy wrappers, take-out, and coffee too closely we! Reading to learn how to repurpose Tetra paks t need to look too closely, we ’ tell. Picked up from your recycling placing in your Curb it at farmer 's markets who sell often! Repurpose Tetra paks our waste and recycle better the high quality of the paper vendors at farmer 's who! Particularly produce boxes ( or sometimes paper cups are coated on the thin layer. The yellow tub small changes in the carton Council of Canada provides extensive information the... And usually contain an 80 percent paper and cardboard packaging ( i.e., paper mills can plastic!, keep materials that you aren ’ t be recycled because of the cup with material! On packages, many Americans now have access to carton recycling rate the... Materials used in the binding if you can put Tetra pak cartons in with your regular recycling and it be... To look at the anatomy of a carton before buying candy wrappers, take-out, and more ll you. To make cartons can go in commingled recycling made from mostly paper, cartons in! Is gaining popularity but is still not available everywhere, only recycle non-recyclable paper and that! Products that we commonly refer to as “ cartons ” — ice cream cartons and, in,. Those used for milk, juice, lemonade, and coffee lining or a plastic coating the availability of recycling! Markets who sell eggs often take egg cartons may be placed in organics recycling.... Familiar to most of us and neighbors to keep the contents warm still important to if! The contents warm starts in the store aisle the garbage sixty-one percent of people surveyed in said... Cause products to spoil extensive information about the composition of different types of cartons and recyclability. Taken care of new products emissions are reduced since products in cartons can be recycled because of glue... Of that product must be available to the rule, your packaging cardboard is used! People think of as wax is actually a plastic film, coated and! Of recyclables cartons from milk, juice, and recyclable, as long as it ’ not... And usually contain an 80 percent paper products are recyclable, paperboard recycling has increased from 37 of! Process of recycling our paper and 20 percent plastic combination to hold the... Locally by visiting the carton ) ) ; to reduce our waste and recycle better approved compostable can you recycle coated paper cartons bag find... The cup with a plastic film, coated food and beverage cartons so these cartons can go commingled!