Is Tupperware Recyclable?
You know the drill: Aluminum cans, milk jugs and cardboard can all be thrown in the recycling bin. But is Tupperware recyclable? When it comes to recycling your reusable food containers, there are a few things you should know.
The great thing about Tupperware and other reusable food containers, is that they’re just that—reusable! By packing your lunch or leftovers in reusable containers, you’re reducing single-use plastic waste. But what about when your food containers are ready to retire? Maybe they are stained beyond repair, warped from the dishwasher or you simply lost the lid (we’ve all been there). Keep in mind, Tupperware has a lifetime warranty, so you might be able to replace your containers for free, instead of throwing them away.
Read on to find out exactly how to dispose of your plastic food containers, without contributing to the landfill.
How to Recycle Tupperware
According to Tupperware.com, the company’s BPA-free plastic containers are recyclable, and many are labeled with recycling codes to help recycling centers best sort them. So turn over the container and check for that familiar triangle made of three chasing arrows. This is the universal plastic resin symbol. The number inside the triangle indicates what type of plastic the Tupperware product is made of.
All the plastic food containers in our kitchen cabinet had a number 5 plastic resin symbol. Unfortunately, according to Earth911.com, number 5 rigid plastics are not widely accepted at U.S. recycling centers. So if your recycling center is one of the many that don’t accept number 5 plastics, check out the mail-in recycling program called Gimme 5 from the sustainable product company Preserve. (It’s currently on hold due to COVID-19, though.)
How to Recycle Rubbermaid Containers
If the plastic resin number on your Rubbermaid containers are not accepted through your local recycling program, there’s another option. You can recycle them for free through Rubbermaid’s Food Storage Recycling Program in partnership with TerraCycle. (Helpfully, they accept all brands of food storage containers, not just Rubbermaid!)
To use the TerraCycle program, register on the TerraCycle website and print a prepaid shipping label. Then package and ship your well-used plastic or glass food containers to TerraCycle for recycling.
How to Recycle Other Plastic Food Storage Containers
Always check the plastic resin code on your food storage containers before tossing them in the recycling bin. Containers with a number 1 or 2 symbol on the bottom are accepted in almost all local recycling programs. If your city doesn’t offer curbside recycling, you can use the Earth 911 database to check for the closest recycling center in your area to drop off your items. If all else fails, reuse your plastic food containers around the house in a creative way. They’re great for organizing the junk drawer, storing craft supplies or replacing broken board game boxes.