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.


Stephanie Reap
Stephanie Reap4 years ago

one more thing to add the list

Frances Darcy
Frances D4 years ago

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".

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson4 years ago


Aud Nordby
Aud nordby4 years ago


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago

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

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L4 years ago

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.

Ro H.
Ro H4 years ago


Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran5 years ago


Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Dave C.
David C5 years ago

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