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Recycling of Plastic Spouts on Cartons

Recycling of Plastic Spouts on Cartons

Our local organic milk company has changed to packaging with a plastic spout and screw cap. How do the recycling people handle that, or can they?

You’d think the packaging manufacturers would have been creative and planet-friendly in their design, but no. Despite green claims from natural product companies such as Silk Soymilk, paper cartons with those embedded plastic spouts are a real pain because yes, the paper is recyclable, but no, the plastic spout and cap system isn’t.

You have to cut out the plastic spout and throw it, along with the screw cap, in the non-recyclable trash! I know this isn’t that easy, but the plastic of these cartons can’t be recycled.

And be careful not to cut yourself when you use the scissors to remove the plastic gizmos! The safest way that I have found to get the embedded plastic spouts off the paper carton is to unfold the package, carefully opening all the seams, rinse it out, flatten it, and then cut away the plastic with scissors.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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1:23PM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

one more thing to add the list

4:39AM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

The spouts and twist caps can be fiddley to remove.We love milk so buy 3litre plastic containers which can all be recycled and juices without plastic "bits".

8:32AM PDT on Apr 10, 2013


7:42AM PDT on Apr 10, 2013


7:56AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Very sad. I hoped they could be recycled...

3:33PM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

What happens if we don't do it? I mean, if we don't take the plastic spouts off the paper carton? I haven't do it. I put the entire carton in the recycle can.

10:57AM PDT on Mar 31, 2013


10:14PM PST on Dec 18, 2012


10:08AM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

Thank you

7:15PM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

I pull them off with a pliers when I need to do so.....those with a recycling # get recycled though.....

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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