Celebrate America Recycles Day + 3 Reasons Why You Should Always Recycle

November 4, 2018

This post was sponsored by the Carton Council as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Did you know November 15th is America Recycles Day? This is the perfect time to educate and bring awareness to your family, friends and local community to recycle each and everyday. There are many misconceptions about what can and can’t be recycled and food/beverage cartons are often at the source of the confusion. These items CAN and should be recycled and I’m sharing the top three reason why below.

Cartons are becoming increasingly popular to package food and beverage items because they are lightweight, compact and have a low carbon footprint. Everything from soups, broths, milk, juice, beans, coconut water and even wine are packaged in cartons making it that much more important to remember to recycle them. My family of 5 recycles an average of 2-3 large trashcans full of these items on a weekly basis. As we take out our recycling each week, it is an excellent educational opportunity for my 3 daughters how we greatly reduce our family’s waste by purchasing recyclable products as well as remembering to always recycle them. The top three reasons to recycle cartons are listed below.

Conserve Our Resources

Recycling paper, aluminum and plastic recovered from recycled cartons helps create new products like napkins, tissue paper and building materials. This helps conserve our resources since we can utilize materials from recycled products to create new products. An example of this conservation in action is when a ton of paper is produced from recycled fibers instead of virgin fibers, it conserves 7,000 gallons of water, 17-31 trees, 4,000 KWh of electricity, and 60 pounds of air pollutants.

Reduce Landfill Waste

With about 75% of our waste being recyclable, most of this trash still ends up in one of our more than 3,000 landfills, which then releases harmful methane gas that speeds up global warming. With the average American producing 4 pounds of trash each day, recycling your cartons will help reduce your overall trash output each day while also helping these items avoid the landfill.

Save Energy

When Americans recycle just 30% of all municipal waste, we save the energy equivalent of 11.9 billion gallons of gasoline. That’s the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road. Taking simple measures to recycle your everyday items when possible, will save energy and the earth!

How To Recycle Cartons

There are two main types of cartons and both are fully recyclable: aseptic (shelf-stable) and gable-top (refrigerated). Aseptic cartons are used for soups, water, milk, juice, beans, etc. and are comprised of an average 74% paper, 22% plastic and 4% aluminum. Gable-top contain about 80% paper and 20% plastic and are used to package milk, juice, cream and other beverages. Regardless of the type of carton, recycling them is super simple. No rinsing or crushing is required and caps can stay on (they are actually recycled more efficiently when left in their original shape). Just place the empty carton in your recycling bin!

The Carton Council of North America which is composed of the four leading carton manufacturers, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Evergreen Packaging and Tetra Pak formed in 2009 and is committed to increasing the recycling of food and beverage cartons in the U.S. Over 62% of households across the U.S. have access to carton recycling and this number continues to grow every day. To check if carton recycling is available in your area, you can use the zip code locator at, or check with your local program.

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