Can You Recycle Goldfish Cartons? (Find Out Now!)

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by Upgraded Home Team
Goldfish crackers are a popular snack, especially if you have kids at home. You may consider buying large-scale cartons if you go through a lot of Goldfish cracker packages, Purchasing

Goldfish crackers are a popular snack, especially if you have kids at home. You may consider buying large-scale cartons if you go through a lot of Goldfish cracker packages,

Purchasing in bulk or larger portions seems more environmentally friendly, single-serving or small containers. Are these products more recyclable than plastic individual-sized Goldfish cracker bags?

Only specific facilities can recycle Goldfish crackers packaged in boxes or milk carton-like containers. Goldfish cracker packages are made from different paper layers glued together. Most city recycling centers can’t breakdown and reuse the glued material. Check with your local recycling program first, but most likely you need to throw the carton in the garbage bin.

How Food Cartons Are Made

At first glance, Goldfish cartons look similar to milk cartons. The two carton types are not manufactured the same way. It’s the foil-like lining that prevents them from being recycled.

Most cartons used to transport food are made from a single piece of paperboard. Some manufacturers coat the paperboard with polyethylene or wax. This forms a moisture barrier that keeps inside products dry or holds liquids. There are some different types of food cartons.

Aseptic Cartons

These lightweight containers have exteriors made from multiple coats of paper board, plastic, and aluminum. Aseptic cartons have been around since the 1950s. They were primarily used for milk cartons in countries without refrigerated shipping. The rectangular shape also makes aseptic cartons beneficial for packing and transport.

Aseptic cartons are more challenging to recycle because of how they are made. Essentially, they are layers of material that have been glued together. The glue makes recycling challenging because it contaminates the paper. Glue is challenging to remove from the paper.

However, aseptic carton recycling does exist. Some countries, like Mexico and Brazil, have found ways to turn them into reusable materials.

Folding Cartons

These cartons are manufactured as flat cardboard pieces that the food manufacturer assembles. Think of takeaway boxes as a common type of folding carton.

Gable Top Cartons

This type of carton has a gable at the top. You have to pinch then pull it to open. It’s a popular design for liquids such as soups and stocks.

Corrugated Boxes

This is a common type of food packaging that is often made from wood, corrugated fiberboard, or metal. You commonly see them used to package food such as cereal, frozen pizza, and snack crackers.

What’s In a Goldfish Cracker Carton?

Goldfish crackers are packaged in different ways. The most common is a bag made of different components. The outer paper shell can be recycled, but the inner foil-lined bag is not recyclable.

Another option is the resealable stand-up bags. These are not recyclable due to the plastic used to maintain product freshness.

Sometimes the crackers are packaged into boxes or milk carton-like structures. These can only be recycled where facilities exist. They are made of layers that cannot be separated at traditional facilities.

Determining If Your Goldfish Carton Is Recyclable

Check the Recycling Symbol

Your goldfish carton will have a recycling symbol somewhere near the back or on the bottom of the container.

Plastic recycling symbols typically have a number inside of the triangle icon. For instance, a “1” refers to PET, a common plastic used in single-use bottled beverages. The number “4” refers to LDPE, a flexible plastic with many applications.

Cardboard materials carry three types of recycling codes. Cardboard Paper reads “PAP-20,” Mixed Paper is “PAP-21,” and Plain paper is “PAP-22.”

Refer to Your Curbside Recycling Program

Every community with curbside recycling has different regulations regarding what items they accept for recycling. Look up what your local provider accepts. They may or may not take any material used in your Goldfish cracker carton.

Some communities may have drop-off locations that accept aseptic cartons for recycling. Check with your local city or search your zip code on the Carton Council website.

Dropping Off Your Carton

If the recycler does take that kind of recyclable, make sure it is clean. Remove any cracker crumbs or debris. Next, simply add your Goldfish cracker carton to your curbside recycling bin.

What If No One Recycles Cartons Near Me?

Unfortunately, the Goldfish cracker carton will have to thrown into the garbage bin.

Related Questions

Are Goldfish bags compostable?

Goldfish bags are not recyclable or compostable. The inner foil lining used to retain freshness will not break down. It could be possible to strip away the outer paper lining for recycling or compost.

Can I recycle food cartons?

Food cartons are manufactured from a wide range of materials. Refer to the recycling symbol on the carton. Find your local recycling program regulations to see if it will accept that material. If it is recyclable, thoroughly clean out the food carton before putting it in the bin.

Recycling Goldfish Cracker Containers

Reusing and repurposing our containers helps reduce the amount of waste that heads to a landfill. In the case of Goldfish cracker cartons, it depends on your local curbside recycling program.

Learn what the different numbers and codes mean in the recycling system. If your manufacturer accepts the number on the Goldfish cracker carton, you can recycle it.

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