Can You Recycle Tupperware? (Find Out Now!)

Jennifer Eggerton
by Jennifer Eggerton

Since 1946, Tupperware® has been used to keep kitchens organized and food fresh. These plastic containers are not only functional, but they are also long-lasting. When it’s time to update your food storage containers, you may wonder if you can recycle Tupperware®.

Tupperware® is 100% recyclable. Don’t put Tupperware® in the recycling bin. Take it to your local recycling center after you clean and dry it. Tupperware® is not biodegradable, so it shouldn’t go in the trash or landfill. Alternatives to recycling are donating, selling, and repurposing your Tupperware®. Use it for party favors, organizers, toy containers, crafts, and plant containers.

Let’s take a look at why recycling, repurposing, selling, and donating old Tupperware® is better than throwing it out.

What is Tupperware®?

Tupperware® is a brand name for the first plastic storage containers that were introduced to households in 1946. Initially, the containers were sold to consumers in retail stores. The concept was so innovative, though, that people didn’t know how to use the containers. The company introduced Tupperware® parties as a way to demonstrate the products, and Tupperware® quickly became a household name.

Tupperware® vs. Plastic Food Containers

Tupperware® dominated the plastic food storage market for years. When bisphenol A (BPA) became a concern with plastic storage containers, other manufacturers jumped into the market with BPA-free products. Tupperware® redesigned their products with a formulation that doesn’t contain BPA. Quality, styles, and durability are the primary reasons why Tupperware® remains a household name more than 60 years later.

What is Tupperware® Made From?

Food storage products from Tupperware® were first made with plastic that contains BPA. Research revealed that BPA is linked to certain types of cancer and other health concerns. The BPA leeches out of the plastic and into the food. In 2010, Tupperware® stopped producing plastic containers with BPA.

What is BPA?

BPA is a component of plastic that is made with acetone and phenol. It was first used for plastics manufacturing in the 1950s. Since then, it has been used since for up to 4 million products each year. BPA is being phased out in plastic food storage products because it has been linked with several life-threatening medical conditions in adults, children, and infants. BPA is even harmful to an unborn child.

Best Plastic Food Storage

Markings on your plastic food storage containers let you know how safe the product is for daily use. If you see #2, #4, or #5 on the bottom of the container, these are the safest types of plastic for food. Avoid products labeled with #3, #6, or #7. These are plastics that have a higher risk of safety issues when they are used for food storage.

How Long Does Tupperware® Last?

Tupperware® is designed to last up to 10 years. The durability and function of the food storage containers mean that your Tupperware® can last much longer.

Is Tupperware® Biodegradable?

The plastic that is used for Tupperware® containers is not biodegradable. This means that the containers will not break down in the landfill. If you throw out your old Tupperware®, expect it to last in the landfill pretty much forever.

Can You Recycle Tupperware®?

The good news is that Tupperware® is 100% recyclable, so there is no reason to throw out your old containers. Look on the bottom of the container. You will see one or two recycling symbols. Inside the symbols are numbers. The numbers indicate the type of plastic that was used for the container.

How to Recycle Your Old Tupperware®

Make note of the number on the bottom of your Tupperware® containers. It’s located in the center of the recycling symbol. The number indicates the type of plastic that was used to make the container.

Contact your local recycling center to see if they accept that type of plastic. If they don’t, ship the products to a central recycling center. You can find a few online.

Before you drop off your Tupperware® for recycling, make sure that it is clean and dry. Food particles and residue interfere with the recycling of the plastic, and it may be rejected by the recycling center.

Sell or Donate Your Old Tupperware®

Tupperware® is still very popular. If you can’t find a recycling center for your old food storage containers, consider selling it or donating it. Tupperware® sells very well online, as well as at garage sales and thrift shops. Check with non-profit organizations in your area to see if they will accept to food storage containers. The best non-profits to check with are community centers and soup kitchens.

Related Guide: What To Do With Old Tupperware

How to Repurpose Old Tupperware®

Thanks to its longevity and practical design, Tupperware® is excellent for repurposing. Here are some ideas for how to upcycle your old Tupperware®.

Party Favors

If you love to entertain, keep those old Tupperware® containers around. Use them for goodie buckets at your next party. Fill them with candy, cookies, small gifts, and other items.


Staying organized keeps life simple. Old Tupperware® containers are perfect for small items. They fit easily into drawers and cabinets.

Toy Containers

Small toys, game pieces, dice, and playing cards are always getting lost. With so many shapes and sizes of Tupperware® in your kitchen, there’s plenty of ways to keep everything where it belongs.


Keep your craft area nice and tidy with your old Tupperware® containers. They are great for buttons, ribbons, glue sticks, stickers, picture hangers, and so much more!

Plant Containers

Drill a small hole in the bottom of your old Tupperware® container. Fill it with soil, and use it as a plant container. Use the lid as the saucer under the plant.

Related Questions

How do you remove stains from plastic food storage containers?

Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 cup of water. Soak your plastic container in the solution for 1 to 2 hours. The vinegar dissolves the stains. Wash and rinse the container after soaking.

What is the best type of food storage container?

Glass is a good option for food storage. Avoid glass that is made in China. It may contain cadmium and lead. Other good options are silicone and stainless steel.


Tupperware® is not biodegradable, so don’t put it in the trash. It is 100% recyclable, and very easy to repurpose.

Jennifer Eggerton
Jennifer Eggerton

Jennifer L. Eggerton loves being hands-on, whether it's with a home DIY project, making repairs, re-decorating a room, or keeping life organized. She enjoys helping people by sharing her knowledge, insights, and experiences, as well as her lessons learned. In addition to her work as a writer, Jennifer is a Jeep® overlander, self-published author, and nature photographer who loves being outdoors.

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