Paper egg cartons are compostable – even the printed ones

Usually, egg cases are made of paper, so without any doubt, they are recyclable. But they also are compostable as the paper is derived from biodegradable and organic materials like wood fibers.

You can compost egg cartons as they are made of paper, even the printed ones because the ink used is water-based, and biodegradable. Cut the carton into small pieces before adding to the pile. If you use a vermicompost system, add water to aid your hard-working worms.

Stay away from foam or polystyrene cartons as they aren’t environmentally friendly. They can’t be recycled nor composted, so avoid using these types of egg cartons.

What to do with plastic egg cartons?

Unfortunately, there’s not much to do with them. They are considered hard plastic so when disposing of those materials have the responsibility to make it correctly so they won’t release toxins into the water you drink.

The best thing to do is not to buy eggs with this type of casing as it is pollutant and damages human and wildlife health. Avoid at all costs to buy eggs who are in foam or polystyrene cartons. Plastic cases are recyclable, just be sure the case isn’t contaminated with any food residue before it goes to the recycle bin. Although, the best ones to buy are those that use cardboard in the packaging.

Give them a new life

Many places will burn these types of plastics and this releases toxins into the air spreading and polluting it. So a good way to avoid this is to reuse foam egg cases. Use them for storage, cut them in half, and make an ice cube tray, use it as an organizer to save small things like bolts, coins… It’s way better than disposing of those cartons in nature or in a landfill.

What to do with cardboard egg cartons?

As they are made of cardboard, they can be recycled, composted and reused. This is the best environmentally friendly packaging you can choose from.

Paper egg cartons are made of wood fibers like any other paper, so they are biodegradable. That means it will decay naturally when exposed to your compost pile as they are rich in carbon and other important nutrients to the soil.

Be sure you cut the packaging into small pieces to make it easier and faster to compost. If you have a vermicompost system, add water to the packaging before you add it to your composting pile. Next time you buy a paper egg carton, remember you are buying a nutritious meal for you and to the worms and to the soil also. It’s a triple win situation!

Compost or recycle egg cartons?

The best thing to do is to compost egg cartons. By doing this you will contribute to the planet in a direct way and you will be contributing to better soil locally, your own soil. This will save you money when buying fertilizer for the next crop or when adding new flowers to your garden. You can also contribute to a friend’s composting pile if you don’t have the space to do it or contribute locally. Some cities have community composting piles, make use of it.

When composting you are saving natural resources like water and energy as they are required to recycle. Speaking of recycling…

The second best thing to do is to recycle, it is a process that spends natural and human resources but is a process that will give a new life to that little packaging in an environmentally friendly way.

You can also reuse

Egg cartons don’t have to be waste, plastic, or cardboard, they can have a new life with a new purpose. Here are some ideas:

  • Give it to your local schools as it can be used as paint trays. This will help the kids to learn to reuse things at a young age, also, they can make learning how to recycle paper.
  • Both plastic and paper egg cartons can be used as seedling starters for your garden.
  • Use as packaging material when shipping fragile goods.
  • If you or anyone you know have chickens, why not reuse these egg cartons to store eggs again?


Remember that there is always a way to do things correctly. You can be environmentally friendly from the moment you buy a product until the moment you dispose of that product. Life is made of choices and we all can choose to be more conscious about the environment we are taking for granted.

All the good actions start by a good decision and a small step.


Hi, I'm Sérgio and I'm passionate about saving the environment reducing my carbon footprint and making better choices. Here I will share some tips that I'm learning on my journey of having a way of live that is more sustainable.

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