How to dispose of meal delivery kit packaging
Meal delivery services are a great way improve your cooking skills, reduce wasted food and try out new recipes. However, with the food comes a lot of packaging to sort through – from insulated liners and cooling packs to food bags and containers. The disposal instructions can often be confusing or even misleading. Here is what you should know:
- Plastic bags and films of any type cannot go in your recycling cart. Many plastic bags and film, if they are clean and dry, can be brought to grocery stores and other retailers that collect them. However, metallic bubble wrap and metallic bubble wrap pouches should be thrown away. Visit plasticfilmrecycling.org for more information on what plastic films are accepted at drop-off locations.
- Cardboard boxes, paper liners and paper insulators are recyclable. Paper padded envelopes stuffed with shredded paper and paper ‘fluff’ items are not an issue for recycling facilities. However, you must remove the plastic lining first. If the paper liner is filled with anything other than shredded paper, it’s not recyclable.
- Gel from ice packs should never be put down the drain or in your food scraps collection. Some of the gels used in these pouches have the ability to absorb 300 times its weight in water, which can lead to clogged sewer pipes. It is also highly unlikely that these gels have been tested to make sure they will fully and safely break down in a commercial composting facility. If you have gel packs, we encourage you to reuse them or give them to an organization that can use them. If not, they need to be put in the garbage.
- Plastic containers labeled #1, #2 or #5 are accepted for recycling. If it is recyclable, screw the cap back on the container before placing it in your recycling cart. And remember, plastics that are black in color are generally not accepted.
- Plastic insulators that are made of a plastic ‘fluff’ are not recyclable or compostable. Even if the packaging says you can pull off the plastic lining and put it in your recycling cart, please place it in the trash. Plastic foam has chemical properties that do not allow it to be recycled with plastic bottles and jars.
Keeping contaminants out of your recycling cart improves the quality of recycling. If you find another confusing packaging item, please email AskEH@ramseycounty.us and include a photo. We'll let you know where it should go!