Egg cartons are one of those things that you probably don’t think about too often, but did you know that there are 3.6 Billion egg cartons produced annually in North America, and nearly half of those are still made from plastic and polystyrene foam? Choosing to purchase eggs in recycled paper cartons supports a closed-loop recycling system and reduces single-use plastic waste. Paper egg cartons are made from post-consumer papers like newspaper and office paper and are 100% recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable. They return to the ecological cycle. Plus, they can be recycled, composted, or upcycled into some fun projects. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Recycle

Moulded fibre egg cartons are recyclable. They’re made of post-consumer paper like newspaper and office paper, which is a recyclable material. They can go directly into the recycling bin and will be recycled and even turned into a future egg carton – starting the process all over again.

Compost

If you don’t want to place your egg cartons into the recycling bin, or you’re working on reducing waste and trash, you can compost them. Cut your paper egg cartons into smaller pieces and throw them directly into the compost bin. Egg cartons are considered a source of carbon in your carbon-nitrogen compost mix. Carbon helps to give soil its water retention capacity.

Another benefit to your garden compost is to start your seedlings in paper egg cartons. Poke holes in each cup of the egg carton for moisture to drain out. Fill each cup with potting soil and place seeds into each cup. Place in a warm spot to start germination and once the seedlings are ready to plant, place them directly in your outdoor or container gardens to grow.

Upcycle

Crafts

Growing minds can also benefit from learning about recycled paper egg cartons and the proper disposal of different materials. Incorporating egg cartons into a craft project for students or your kids at home is a great way to teach them about how reducing waste starts at the supermarket. Choosing foods in recycled paper packaging over single-use plastic and Styrofoam can stop harmful plastics from entering our landfills, waterways, lakes, and oceans. Crafting a flower wreath, shark, or other critters is a great way to upcycle paper egg cartons and give a gift to someone you love while teaching children about the importance of reducing plastic.

Bird Feeder

Creating a backyard feeder for your neighbourhood’s birds is easy with a paper egg carton. Simply cut the top off the egg carton and poke holes in each corner of the remaining bottom of the egg carton. Tie a sturdy string through the holes so you can hang this from a tree, balcony, or window ledge at your home. Fill each egg carton cup with birdseed from your local garden centre or supermarket. Hang this up and watch the birds flock to enjoy some food in your backyard!

Sewing Kit

Other ways to upcycle recycled paper egg cartons include creating a DIY sewing kit – store pins, thread, buttons, and mini scissors in a compact compartment so you have it on hand to fix any torn clothing or missing buttons. A bonus of fixing your own clothing also reduces plastic waste in landfills from clothing waste.

Small Storage

Egg cartons also make great storage for things like Christmas ornaments as well as nails, screws, thumbtacks, nuts, and bolts. Store small craft supplies or mini children’s toys like small figurines, beads, and jewelry. Egg cartons are a really great way to store small stuff.

Gift Wrapping

Transporting some gifts can be tricky – especially edible gifts or plants. That’s why paper egg cartons also make a creative way to wrap gifts. Some gift ideas include the seed starting kit (above) with instructions on how to get started or a succulent planting kit with instructions on how to care for your plant. Socks can also be rolled up and placed in the cups of an egg carton for a quirky gift. Lastly, any small baked goods can be given in an egg carton – line the cups with cupcake liners and place cupcakes, cookies, or macarons. Consider decorating the outside of the egg carton, close shut, and tie it with a ribbon.

Recycled paper egg cartons are perfect for so many things, but our favourite is how easy they are to recycle. Not only can you put them in your blue bin, but you can also compost them! If you’re feeling crafty, there are lots of ways to upcycle them too. We’ve shared a few of our favourites above, but we want to hear from you. Share how you have reused egg cartons using #ditchplasticpackaing and tell us your ways to reuse these versatile cardboard boxes.