Can You Recycle Tupperware? (Don’t Make These Mistakes)

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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.

You’re already using Tupperware or reusable food containers to be a little more green, but recycling them takes your environmentally friendly food storage to the next level. Furthermore, when using Tupperware you are reducing your single-use plastic waste. 

But what happens when the Tupperware and those other containers wear out and need to be replaced? Can you recycle Tupperware? Continue reading to find out this answer and more!

Can You Recycle Tupperware?

Not only does Tupperware allow you to reuse and save on one-time plastic use, but there is also a way to recycle these plastic containers even if it is not in the curbside bin. Some companies also have special programs that allow you to recycle plastic and other food storage containers. 

Luckily there are places where you can take Tupperware and other plastic food storage containers to recycle them. So keep reading to find out exactly what types of materials these containers are made out of and where you can go to recycle them.

What Materials Are Tupperware Products Made Of?

There are two types of “Tupperware,” the true brand and the general name now given to most other food storage containers. 

This lack of distinction makes it hard to talk about one without the other and because of this, we will try to address both the brand name Tupperware and the other brands in this article.

The True Brand Of Tupperware

The brand Tupperware boasts of its lifetime warranty and the durability of its products. 

Furthermore, since their product was not originally intended for recycling, not all of the plastic products had a recycling code on the bottom of them. 

This plastic code is what tells you what the container is made of.

Have no fear, though! Tupperware has since updated this policy, and there are also options for you to recycle your older Tupperware products mentioned later on.

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Tupperware now claims that most of its products come with recycling codes, according to its website

Additionally, the codes that you need to look out for are described below.

Other Brands Of Food Storage Containers

Other brands of plastic containers should also have the RIC or Resin Identification Coding System number somewhere on the container. 

This is usually found on the bottom of the container, and again, they tell us what the container is made of. 

These codes help recycling centers sort through the products that enter the plant.

If the storage container has the number one or number two recycling code on the bottom, it is food safe and easy to recycle. 

The recycling code with the number two inside the triangle is the most common for plastic containers. 

However, when checking the codes on the bottom of our plastic food storage containers in our cabinets, they all had the resin symbol with the number five

This type of rigid plastic is not accepted in most recycling centers.

How To Recycle Tupperware

The best way to recycle any type of food storage container is to first call your local recycling center. 

Furthermore, because of their shape and durability, food storage containers may not be accepted in your curbside bin but can still be recycled. 

This is why it is important to first call your recycling center to ask what way they prefer you recycle your old containers.

What Codes To Look For

The most common and widely accepted plastic resin codes at recycling plants are number one and number two. 

Furthermore, these numbers are surrounded by the triangle recycle symbol. 

Additionally, the resin symbol number five on the container means that it will most likely not be taken in at the recycling center and should be recycled differently. 

Read More:  37 Revealing Recycling Facts That You Need To Know

Where To Recycle Tupperware

Where To Recycle Tupperware

While not all food storage containers can be recycled at a recycling plant, there are other ways to dispose of them without having to put the containers in your curbside garbage bin.

Rubbermaid’s Program

One such recycling program that is meant for food storage containers is a recent one from Rubbermaid. 

Rubbermaid has partnered with TerraCycle to offer a way to recycle your old food storage containers that you no longer use. 

Furthermore, this program accepts any brand of both plastic and glass food storage containers. 

More information on Rubbermaid’s partnership with TerraCycle can be found here on the Terracycle website

Gimme 5

Gimme 5 is a recycling program that also accepts the #5 plastic that other recycling plants do not. 

Additionally, at one point, this program had a partnership with Whole Foods Market for physical drop-off centers. 

Now, Gimme 5 is continuing its program by mail after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How To Reuse And Upcycle Tupperware

The whole point of Tupperware and other food storage containers is to reuse them to store food. 

This allows you to save leftovers for another meal, meal prep, or store produce for a more organized refrigerator and cabinets. 

Unfortunately, food storage containers start to stain and can look dingy after multiple uses. 

However, have no fear, for there are options to upcycling Tupperware without throwing it in the garbage or utilizing one of the recycling programs mentioned above. 

For example, Make It Grateful has a craft tutorial that allows you to turn your old and mismatched Tupperware into “chic planters”!

If you do not have a green thumb, there are still options to upcycling your food storage containers that you do not want to use with food anymore. 

Furthermore, Tupperware that has reached the end of its life can be used to store arts and craft supplies, nails or screws, and other miscellaneous small items. 

Read More:  Can You Recycle Plastic And Metal Jar Lids? (Full Guide)

Is Tupperware Biodegradable? 

Since the materials that Tupperware and other food storage containers are made out of, they are not biodegradable. 

However, Tupperware has claimed that all of its products will be delivered in packaging that is compostable or biodegradable. 

While these containers are not biodegradable, it does not mean that reusable food containers are bad for the environment.

Is Tupperware Bad For The Environment?

Tupperware and other brands of food storage containers exist solely to reduce the waste of single-use plastic. 

These containers also allow you to reduce your food waste by giving you a place to store leftovers. 

Therefore, because of this, Tupperware should not be considered bad for the environment. 

Not only do the reasons mentioned above make Tupperware and other food storage containers good for the environment, but there are also various ways of recycling these containers.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether you can recycle ice cream cartons, whether you can recycle cereal boxes and bags, and whether you can recycle juice boxes.

Conclusion

Tupperware and other plastic food storage containers can be recycled in various ways. It is first important to check for the resin recycling code and then call your local recycling plant to ask if they will accept that material and how to get it to them. 

Otherwise, you can also take part in the other food storage recycling programs that are mentioned above. Either way, you’re doing just a little more to help the environment by using Tupperware containers and then recycling them at the end of their life!

Author

  • 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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