How To Recycle Cartons (and why it’s so important)


I’m excited to be partnering with the Carton Council and IZEA to share just how easy it is to recycle cartons and help the environment.

Do you recycle cartons? Find out why it’s so important and how you can do it in three simple steps! 

Recycling Cartons pin

Before I had kids, my biggest concerns were planning my next girl’s night out or where I was going to jet off to next. I didn’t think much about where my trash went or being environmentally friendly. It was all I could do to turn off the lights when I left the room.

Like every mom, having kids completely changed my priorities. Instead of fancy shoes and fun vacations, I was spending all my money on pink dresses and mommy/daughter dates. I also started to think more about the future, including how I could help take care of the environment.

How The Carton Council Helps Make A Difference

I even started recycling and once I realized how simple it was, I never looked back. We’ve been recycling for years now and our recycle bin is regularly filled to the top. The best part is that thanks to the Carton Council, we can recycle cartons along with everything else.

Touring Single Stream Recyclers

Yup, that’s me with a big bale of recycled cartons. I recently had the chance to attend a cool event at Single Stream Recyclers, a recycling facility in Sarasota, FL. It was there that I learned more about how to recycle cartons and why it’s so important.

One thing I discovered was that recycling cartons wasn’t always this easy. When the Carton Council was formed in 2009, less than 20% of the U.S. population were able to recycle cartons. Now, 10 years later, that number is at 62.8% and growing. 

Steps of Carton Recycling

Technology has made it easier and instead of humans having to sort through the recyclables, there are robots that help do it faster and more efficiently. We saw them in action when we toured the recycling facility and it was pretty cool to watch!

What Happens To Our Cartons When We Recycle

Wonder where those cartons end up? Single Stream Recyclers takes our recycled cartons and makes huge bales that are then sold to fiber facilities.

Bale ready to be sold

These facilities make paper pulp, then sell that to other companies that make paper products. Cartons can also be crushed to use as building materials. Making products from recycled cartons is a lot more energy efficient than creating new ones. Fun Fact from the Carton Council: About 30 cartons can turn into a single 2’x2’ ceiling tile, while roughly 400 cartons make up each wallboard.

Examples of cartons

I love being able to contribute to creating a better environment. That means finding better alternatives to landfills. Do we really want to live in a world where we just bury all our garbage in giant holes in the ground? I know that I don’t want that for my children, or their children.

When we recycle and use the same materials repeatedly, that means that a lot less trash is getting dumped into landfills. It’s not just about us…it’s about the world we leave behind. Why would we want all these materials going into the ground when they can be put to good use instead.

Recycled Bales at Single Stream Recyclers

How To Recycle Cartons

It’s so easy to recycle cartons that you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner! Here’s all you have to do…

  1. Empty the carton. I didn’t realize until the tour that you don’t even have to rinse it out. Just shake out liquid or food that’s left inside so there’s no mess in the recycling bin or at the facility.
  2. Toss the carton in your recycling bin. You don’t want to crush them because it confuses the robot that does the sorting. Also, keep the caps on the cartons and if you have juice or milk boxes, just push the straw back inside.
  3. Take your recycling bin to the curb. So easy, right?

Check out this video to see just how it works…

Not sure if recycling is available where you live? You can enter your zip code here to find out.

The Carton Council is helping recycling evolve and you can find out more about their recycling efforts at

The post How To Recycle Cartons (and why it’s so important) appeared first on Fun Money Mom.


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