At Ecobin we’re always happy to help answer your questions on all things recycling, and today we’re heading up the ever-popular - ‘are egg cartons recyclable? Before answering this question, let me share some information with you. Do you know an average Australian consumes approximately 210 eggs in a year, so now you can estimate the total amount of eggs and their cartons that are thrown into bins annually. There are three types of egg cartons, let's get the answer to this question for each type one by one:
- Pulp Egg Cartons - These are the most commonly used and eco-friendly egg cartons. They're made up of pulp which is a slurry that comes out of recycled paper and cardboard mixed with water and fibre grass. They can be recycled like most other types of cardboard. This pulp can also be recycled to create more of these cartons, only if they are thrown into the correct recyclable bin, and if there is no egg stain on them as the food residue can be contaminant for paper recycling. In case the eggs get broken into this carton, they can be thrown into the compostable as this material is completely biodegradable. In fact, it is very good for the soil after being composted. These are the best egg cartons to go for, as they are very eco-friendly.
- Foam Egg Cartons - They are made up of styrofoam or polystyrene, or you can call it plastic in simple words. There is no doubt that most of these are non-recyclable as the styrofoam doesn’t break down well in the cycling centers, or some can be recycled to make hard concrete plastics and after that, they are going to be the part of landfills. However, these egg cartons can be reused for the same purpose after their sanitization, as they can be cleaned easily. They can also be re-used for some other purposes like you can use them as small planters, storage for small things like beads, buttons or earrings etc. You can store these cartons and use them later for kids school projects. Also, they can be collected and resold to the poultry farms in bulk where they reuse it for the same purpose. There are some wise people who collect them and then sell them on eBay.
- Clear PET Plastic Egg Cartons - These cartons are also very popular over the past few decades. They’re made up of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) which again is a form of plastic that is heated to conform to molds. This plastic, however, is recyclable and can be recycled up to 7 times. These cartons are lightweight and transparent to provide clear visibility of eggs and labels. They can be made using recycled PET which helps in saving a lot of energy. You can throw them in the recycling bin, or upcycle them into any kind of storage containers, or you can also use them for art supplies.