How to Recycle Frozen Food Boxes

Tearing into a TV dinner can sometimes make a recycler want to tear his/her hair out, as trying to recycle frozen food boxes can be especially tricky. This packaging essentially takes a highly recyclable material – paperboard – and coats it in plastic, severely hampering the availability of recycling solutions.

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Frequent Frozen Food Box Recycling Questions

How do frozen food boxes protect food in the freezer?

Frozen food boxes have a thin layer of plastic coating on them to protect them from condensation.

Why is it difficult to recycle frozen food boxes?

The plastic coating sprayed on frozen food boxes makes the paperboard underneath impossible to recycle in the standard pulp process because the container will not break apart during recycling, as is required.

Are there recyclable alternatives to standard frozen food boxes?

Not all frozen food packages are coated with plastic or waxy coating. Frozen food bags and pouches – also known as film plastics – and cardboard are both viable alternatives that are far more recyclable.