Can You Recycle Oatmeal Containers And Packets? (Guide)

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Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

Are you a recycler and not sure if you can recycle your oatmeal packaging? When it comes to on-the-go rippable packets and cylindrical cardboard containers, you may be wondering if you can recycle those items or just throw them in the trash. 

Keep reading to learn more about how to properly dispose of these packages!

Can You Recycle Oatmeal Containers And Packets?

If you are using oatmeal packets, you cannot recycle them. However, the box the packets came in may be recycled. Furthermore, concerning the cylindrical containers, you can recycle the container but not the plastic lid; that must be thrown away into the trash bin.

Read on to understand a little more about oatmeal container recycling ins and outs and how to do it!

Oatmeal Containers And Packets: Materials

Oatmeal packaging is made with a variety of different materials. 

Furthermore, these materials also contain linings and other modifications that impact their ability to be recycled.

However, we will explore those as well as why those characteristics would disqualify them from recycling. For example: 

  • Packet/box material makeup
  • Cylindrical container/lid material makeup
  • Other disqualifying characteristics

These are the main disqualifying characteristics, but different recycling plants may be more particular. 

Therefore, be sure to check with them before sending your recycling in.  

What Are The Packets/Boxes Made Of?

When buying the package as a whole, you receive the box and the packets inside the box. 

The packets inside, which cannot be recycled, are made of cardboard lined with plastic and this lining disqualifies them from being recycled. 

However, all cardboard boxes, such as the packaging box your oatmeal packets came in, are recyclable. 

Furthermore, this box is made of lightweight cardboard along with other food boxes such as cereal boxes, pasta boxes, and snack boxes.

What Are The Cylindrical Containers Made Of?

Purchasing cylindrical containers of oats may be more cost-effective than the packets, but they differ in recycling ability. 

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Furthermore, these containers are made of lightweight cardboard lined with wax. Interestingly enough, this does not disqualify these containers from recycling.

However, the plastic lid is not able to be recycled, and neither are most plastic lids. 

This is because they are not always made with the same kinds of plastic, and combining many different types of plastic would disrupt the recycling process.

Traits That Do/Do Not Affect Recyclable Items

Most cardboard can be recycled, however, if cardboard has grease stains, such as on pizza boxes, or is wet, recycling facilities may not accept the cardboard. 

Furthermore, if the cardboard is not saturated with these damages, you may cut out and recycle parts that are not damaged. 

Additionally, tape and labels do not disqualify cardboard boxes from recycling. 

Also, glossy cardboard boxes can be recycled too as the finish does not make the box non-recyclable.

However, to be recycled, items do need to be separated accordingly. 

This is because there could be contamination of materials if you do not separate them, causing the recycling facility to reject them. 

Additionally, keep in mind that different companies/facilities have their own standards so what may be accepted from one facility may not be accepted from another. 

Therefore, always check with your local recycling establishment to see what they accept. 

What To Do with Recyclable Oatmeal Items

What To Do with Recyclable Oatmeal Items

You can do a variety of things with these items. To name two, you may:

  • Give items to a recycling facility
  • Reuse the containers at home

Recycling these items helps the environment greatly, and reusing them has the same effect.

Oatmeal Packaging At The Recycling Facility 

You can take the packaging boxes and cylindrical containers to the recycling center, or if you have curbside recycling pickup, you can place them in those specific bins to be picked up. 

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However, the boxes should be emptied and broken down/torn up before they are disposed of to save space in these recycling avenues. 

Furthermore, when taking these items to a recycling center, you should separate them by category before you get there, as there are separate containers for each. 

Additionally, you should make sure to empty these items before you place them in their respective containers, or they may not be accepted.

Also, if you have curbside recycling pickup, it works just like trash pickup and may often be picked up at the same time. 

Using Packaging Items At Home

For cardboard boxes, such as the oatmeal packaging box, storage is a favorite. 

For example, you can organize writing utensils, such as markers, colored pencils, and crayons, as well as pill bottles or knick-knacks.

Another very important household function these boxes hold is using them for moving. 

If there is a heavy object you need to move and cannot pick it up, cut up your cardboard box into four squares and place them under the legs. 

Therefore, this then allows the object to slide easily on any surface. 

Furthermore, another is on how to upcycle this packaging is to use it for a simple kid’s activity, for example, using the boxes as blocks for building. 

These are great for this activity as they are light and will not injure a kid if they are knocked over, as well as being easily stackable for big structures like forts.

Another popular use for cardboard is composting, therefore, just cut it up into small pieces and mix it in. 

What To Do With Non-Recyclable Oatmeal Items

The plastic lids from the oatmeal containers and the packets are non-recyclable, however, here are a couple of things you can do with them. You could:

  • Throw them away
  • Reuse at home
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Generally, Throw Them Away

Recycling is efficient for the environment and has advanced significantly, unfortunately, not everything can be recycled quite yet. 

Even though a lot of plastic and paper can be recycled, these items cannot so do not forget to separate them when recycling. 

Reuse Them At Home

There is not much you can do with paper oatmeal packets as they cannot even be used for composting because they are lined with plastic.

However, the plastic lids on top of the oatmeal containers can be used for many things. 

For example, you can use them as coasters for your coffee table(for items like plants and drinks), or place it under your shaving cream to prevent rust buildup in your shower. 

They may also be used in crafts as well. For example, if you’re working with beads you can pour them into the lid so you can see all of them and also keep them contained in one area.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether you can recycle Pringles cans, whether you can recycle wine glasses, and whether you can recycle travel mugs.


Oatmeal comes in a couple of different packaging types: the on-the-go packets and the cylindrical containers. Furthermore, there are recyclable and non-recyclable products with each package. 

Therefore, you may dispose of recyclables by getting them to a facility or using them in your household, and non-recyclables may be thrown away or reused. Additionally, if you want to recycle/reuse these items, there are many options to choose from that may work well for you.


  • Jean Richardson

    Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

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