Yes, Tupperware is recyclable, but you need to know a few things about the plastic used and its recyclability reading before gearing up to put your worn-out Tupperware items in the recycle.
Plastic containers are pretty common in every household around the world, for they make great vessels to store food.
While these great utensils come with a lifelong warranty, they don’t generally last that long. Therefore, knowing how to recycle them is essential.
Tupperware is made with durable plastic, which is why it’s recyclable. Unlike one-time-use plastic, the material used in
Tupperware items are long-lasting, so much so that it comes with a promise to last a while. But naturally, that doesn’t happen.
Plastic boxes and containers wear and tear over the months/years either because of rough usage or just due to the passing of time.
Regardless of the reason, Tupperware will give out, warranting a trip to a recycling plant.
However, before you start throwing all old damaged plastic containers in a bag to take them for recycling, take a minute to assess the products you wish to recycle.
Resin Code in Tupperware
Every plastic container comes with a number written inside the popular triangular recyclable symbol made of arrows
This is the value or code known as the recyclability or resin code that determines whether an item can be recycled.
So knowing these values is essential to understand how to categorize your Tupperware.
#1. PETE (Polyethylene terephthalate)
The first recyclability code means that the material in your hand contains PETE or Polyethylene terephthalate and can be recycled.
Generally, PETE is used in water bottles, jars for mayonnaise and peanut butter, soda bottles, and other common retail items.
Articles containing the said compound are typically picked up by garbage trucks.
If the Tupperware products you want to recycle are labeled 1, you can put them for recycling.
#2 HDPE (High-density polyethylene)
HDPE is the second recyclability code. Any object marked 2 will have high-density polyethylene and be recyclable.
Most common items assigned the number 2 as their recyclability reading include shampoo bottles, milk cartons, detergent bottles, etc.
Many plastic boxes and containers also have HDPE and carry a 2 at the bottom.
When classifying your old Tupperware products for recycling, put all those displaying a 2.
#3 PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
PVC is arguably the most commonly used compound in plastic articles, yet it is not recyclable.
PVC-containing plastic is soft and malleable. It is used to make kids’ toys, disposable tableware, and kitchenware, among other things.
#4 LDPE (Low-density polyethylene)
LDPE is another popular plastic component found in a bunch of items, such as shopping bags.
It has a dubious nature when it comes to recycling as it is neither 100% recyclable nor non-recyclable.
In other words, LDPE can only be recycled on some occasions.
To determine if something you have with LDPE is recyclable or not, head down to a recycling facility near your home.
Moreover, sometimes the plastic itself cannot be recycled while other times, some plants don’t recycle it.
This means you must find out the status of your Tupperware items to dispose of them right.
#5 PP (Polypropylene)
Like LDPE, Polypropylene is a popular constituent in plastic goods, particularly yogurt containers, cream, margarine, etc. It is also recyclable in some cases only.
SO, when dealing with a Tupperware piece that is marked 5, you need to contact the recycling facility and ask them if they will accept your kitchenware.
If not, connect with some other professionals to exhaust all options before throwing your plastic container out.
#6 PS (Polystyrene)
PS makes for a low-quality one or two times-use (ideally, though some people might go for more rounds) plastic and cannot be recycled.
Products such as Styrofoam cups or takeaway containers have PS and shouldn’t be used more than once.
Understandably there are many more elements in the world of chemistry that can be combined and reacted with one another to make plastic, which may or may not be recycled.
That is why some Tupperware goods are labeled 7, which means they could have pretty much any compound.
Therefore, products that fall under the category of others may or may not be recyclable.
So, you need professional advice before deciding if a particular container can go into the recycling bin or not.
In a nutshell, you can cycle Tupperware only if it displays 1 or 2 at the base. If the resin reading is 3 or 6, the item is not recyclable, while if it is 4, 5, or 7, the good displaying it may or may not be recycled.
Once you have a clear understanding of resin values, you will categorize your plastic boxes and containers right, which in turn will enable you to treat them as necessary.
Extending Tupperware Life
Although you cannot use the same Tupperware goods for life, you can extend their lifespan a little with some effort.
And when the time comes to dispose of them, you can categorize them and send them on their way.
Here we have a few tips to help you not have to deal with recycling Tupperware frequently.
While Tupperware is made to withstand rough usage, you should still (at least) try to be gentle with it.
For instance, don’t run it into the dishwasher every time. Sometimes just soap it up and rinse it with your hands.
Don’t heat up your Tupperware boxes in the oven for long durations.
Although most Tupperware products are safe for oven use, they may warp or deform in some areas.
Therefore, it’s best to avoid such scenarios and not put your plastic containers in the oven for many minutes at a time.
Since Tupperware is used to store food, it often ends up with smidges of food in the corners here and there, which is bad for recycling.
When washing your plastic products, be sure to rinse them thoroughly from all sides. Once that’s done, dry them up using a fluff-free towel.
Many times people don’t realize that the box before them still has some traces of food left in the corners, which can contaminate the plastic used. As a result, recycling becomes difficult.
If you don’t want that to happen with you, scan the entire expanse of your plastic kitchenware goods and be sure they are squeaky clean.
If you use the dishwasher to wash your plastic utensils, don’t forget to give them a once-over to ensure they don’t have any bit of food left.
Be Conscious of Your Choices
It goes without saying that anyone who is environmentally conscious must be careful about their everyday choices.
Be it in the food they eat or the dishes they use; eco-friendly individuals need to choose wisely, which they do.
However, sometimes they can go a little too in over their heads and write off things as unusable left, right, and center.
In doing so, some items that may not be harmful to the environment are also discarded, and Tupperware is one of them.
As we discussed above, not all plastic goods are non-recyclable. SO naturally, not all Tupperware containers are non-recyclable. You can use them provided that you take your pick wisely.
In simple terms, you don’t have to use or encourage the use of takeaway boxes or Styrofoam cups, but you can let some Tupperware items go.
Any product with 1 or 2 resin readings should be allowed to make it in your cart so that you can enjoy the ease Tupperware brings in life.
Say No to Problematic Resin Reading Products
Don’t be alarmed; this header may seem needlessly meaningful, but it’s not!
All we mean to say is that if you are a Tupperware user but also happen to care for the environment, only choose products with the number 1 or 2 written at the base.
As already mentioned, plastic products with a resin code of 1 or 2 are entirely recyclable; therefore, invest in those.
Whenever you are traversing the isles in IKEA, looking at oh-so-convenient plastic containers, be sure to check the bottom of the good you intend to buy.
If the digit inside the triangle-made-with-arrows is 1 or 2, put the article in your hand in the cart without second thoughts.
However, if the reading is 4 or 5, but the piece away.
And if you like some item too much to give it up and it is marked a 3 or 7, you could buy it but don’t forget to ask recycling professionals if it’s recyclable.
Tupperware is undoubtedly among the best kitchenware items ever made, which is evident from the omnipresence of plastic containers in every household.
While Tupperware is useful in the kitchen, it requires proper handling. So, use your plastic boxes gently.
But more importantly, be mindful of the resin reading on the Tupperware containers you buy so that you can get them recycled easily when the time comes.
This way, you will have made your life easier (by using Tupperware) and benefited the environment too.
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