Here's the Hard Truth About Recycling Takeout Containers

Chinese TakeAway

Plastic is widely used in the packaging industry due to its numerous beneficial features. The greatest feature of plastic is that it can be recycled. Yes, plastic can be recycled. But do you know how plastic is recycled?  Is it easy to recycle every kind of plastic? What kinds of difficulties are faced during recycling of different plastics? Is it easy to recycle Chinese takeout boxes?  Well, these and many other such kinds of questions may be roaming around your head if yes, then read this blog and get some crucial and interesting facts about recycling of plastics especially, food packaging material. 

Why it is hard to recycle food boxes?

Yet plastic is easy to recycle material, yes I am talking about plastic bottles, shampoo bottles, lunch boxes, and cans. But when it comes about food boxes, the whole scenario is changed immediately. 
Okay, how many of you used to wash food packaging after eating food? Honestly saying none of us do this. Bins are full of dirty food boxes caked with food, with the filthy smell and odd positions. Don’t you think it’s going to affect the recycling process? 
It is too much hard to recycle food packaging stuff because these are too much dirty. Moreover, the presence of food particles makes them a treasure hunt for decomposers. Decomposers like bacteria and fungi immediately come near to these sort of plastics and start degrading their content. This makes the process of recycling more complex. 
In order to understand why it is so hard to recycle Chinese takeout boxes, first of all, it's better to know about the types of resins used to make plastic for multiple purposes. Here I am particularly going to target types of plastics used to make food boxes. 

Types of plastics used to make food packaging stuff:

Following are the major types of plastics used in food packaging industry. 

types of food boxes

  • Type I
  • Type II 
  • Type III

Type I:

Type I boxes are sterilized first to remove all strains of bacteria and other decomposers from then. After that, they are decolorized. In the next phase, these boxes are melted to form a gummy resin which is then used to make new recycles boxes from them. 

Type II:

All plastic bottles, milk bottles, and elastic stuff fall into this category. This material is not sterilized first. Rather, a strong heat shock, or high temperature and high pressure are given to get them to melt. 
The process of heating also kills all germs or bacteria present in them. After melting of the plastic, the resin is annealed in the form of balls. These balls are then transformed in different size and shape to use for different purposes. 

Type III:

Material included in this category is cleaner than both of above-mentioned types. These sorts of boxes, for instance, pizza boxes, tea, and coffee cans are just sterilized chemically and then remolded to use again. 
How take out boxes are recycled then? 
This question must be going through your head, well, take out boxes can be recycled using many tactics. The most common technique is “scratch test”. 
Scratch a plastic caked by dirt and grease; if that wax or grease can be removed by scratching, then surely that material is recyclable. Otherwise, throw it out and move on. 


I hope you enjoyed this article. My purpose was to give you detailed knowledge about difficulties faced during recycling of Chinese takeout boxes. After reading this blog, your concerns surely will be satisfied. So, use plastic wisely and keep it clean, so that it can be recycled easily and save our environment from getting more and more polluted.

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