Last Updated on August 9, 2023 by ellen
Are egg cartons recyclable? Check out these simple tips to repurpose egg cartons in a variety of different ways.
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Repurpose Egg Cartons
If you have a stack of empty egg cartons in the kitchen, you might be wondering how you can repurpose them. Old egg cartons have many different uses so there is no reason to throw them away.
There are many different types of egg cartons you may bring home from the store. Different brands use different types of packaging.
A few of the most common ones are styrofoam egg cartons, plastic egg cartons, foam egg cartons, and paper egg cartons.
The easiest way to reuse egg cartons is to give them to a local farm. We have several people in the area that sell eggs from their home flocks. They always accept egg cartons back.
If you don’t have someone near you to take your egg carton back, keep reading for a few ways to reuse them.
How to reuse styrofoam egg cartons
One of the best ways to reuse styrofoam cartons is as packing peanuts. They are made of the same material as the packing material you buy at the store. But, here are a few more ways you can use the whole carton:
Use them to protect fragile items when packing for a move. Either add the whole carton for larger items. Or, cut it into smaller pieces.
Make egg carton boats and use them as part of a sensory bin or water play activity.
Creatively store collections like rocks, shells, buttons, beads, or erasers.
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Turn them into craft projects like animals or robots.
Keep them in the fridge to hold extra condiment packets from your favorite restaurant.
I try to avoid buying styrofoam cartons because they are not biodegradable or recyclable. Styrofoam is not eco friendly so it’s a great idea to try to use them in your home if you have them.
You cannot recycle styrofoam egg cartons.
How to use clear plastic egg cartons
Clear plastic egg cartons are often recyclable. You can put them in with your other recycled materials in the recycling bin. Check with your curbside program to be certain.
Here are a few more ideas for plastic cartons.
Turn plastic egg cartons into an organizer for bathroom toiletries, craft supplies, or office supplies like paperclips and sticky notes.
Create a mini greenhouse. Just leave the top on and start seedlings. Make sure to poke a tiny hole in the top to allow moisture to escape. Starting seedlings this way is easy.
Store Christmas ornaments. The cartons are clear so it’s easy to see which ornament is in which box.
How to reuse cardboard egg cartons
The most common kind of egg carton is cardboard. Most cities and counties accept them for recycling. Again, check with your curbside program to be sure.
If you don’t want to recycle egg cartons, here are a few creative ways you can reuse paper cartons.
Cut and glue together egg cartons and use as a planter for small succulents or herbs.
Use them to make bird feeders by cutting two slots in the top of the carton, filling it with birdseed, and hanging it outside.
Use the paper egg cartons to hold paint while your child is painting. There’s nothing to clean up. Simply recycle the egg carton after the paint dries.
Make fire starters. Just fill old egg cartons with melted wax and dryer lint. They make a great fire starter.
Plant seeds. When you want to place them in the garden, plant the whole carton in the ground. The cardboard is compostable.
Add them to your compost. Cardboard is compostable and will break down and turn into nourishment for your soil.
What crafts can you make with egg cartons?
Egg cartons can be used to make all sorts of crafts. Here are a few ideas:
Make a dragonfly out of cardboard egg cartons and pipe cleaners.
Create a DIY egg carton flower crown. Use it as an opportunity to talk about repurposing and recycling with your child.
Turn styrofoam egg cartons into robots by adding googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and other odds and ends.
Glue two cardboard egg cartons together to make a piggy bank.
Cut out individual cups from plastic egg cartons and turn them into mini greenhouses for starting seedlings.
Wrap old egg cartons in yarn or fabric and use them as a vase to hold artificial flowers.
What is the most environmentally friendly egg carton?
Cardboard egg carts are the most eco-friendly to use. It can be recycled or composted easily. Paper cartons will take 2 to 4 weeks to decompose completely. Plastic and styrofoam will both take over 500 years.
No matter what kind of egg carton you have, there are plenty of ways to reuse it. Don’t just throw it in the trash! Get creative and find new ways to repurpose egg cartons for your home or garden.
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Ellen is a mom of a 25-year-old son and 30-year-old daughter. She is Grandma to one adorable toddler. In what little spare time she has, she loves to read, watch movies, and check out the latest toys and games.