Santa Clara University

Center for Sustainability Banner
Back to Blog

 Are Frozen Food Packages Recyclable?

Posted on Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2012

Frozen food boxes (made out of paperboard) are not recyclable because they are sprayed with a plastic coating that protects the contents against freezer burn. Once the material has this coating, it does not break apart as pulp in the cardboard recycling process.

Any box with this type of plastic coating (or waxy coating) is not recyclable.

However, frozen food packages made from cardboard or film plastics (frozen food bags or pouches) are recyclable on campus.

In general, paperboard boxes are recyclable, so long as

  • they haven't gotten wet
  • they haven't been exposed to oil or grease (this is why pizza box bottoms aren't recyclable)
  • and the plastic liner (common with food boxes) has been removed.


1 of 1 Images | next

Tags: Cardboard, Food/Drink, Paper, Wrappers/Containers

Ask A Recycling Question
* indicates a required field.
Your name*
Your email address*
Recycling Question*
The Basics:
  • Recycling: paper, plastic (#1-#7), glass, aluminum, tin. Look for BLUE.
  • Compost: food waste, biodegradable material, (if it was once alive, it can be composted!). Look for GREEN.
  • Landfill waste: everything else! Look for RED or BLACK.
Waste Diversion FAQ

Search past questions and answers.