Is Tupperware Recyclable? Here Is Our Guide

Every homeowner knows the importance of having a collection of food storage containers.

Leftovers needn’t be thrown out; just stored away. Lunch doesn’t need to be full of wasteful bags when they can be stored in containers.

Cold food can become warm again when microwaved in a food container too.

While Tupperware parties aren’t as common as they used to be, Tupperware is still a very popular brand of food containers. However, when your Tupperware is no longer usable, rest assured you can most likely recycle it.

Before tossing your old Tupperware into the recycling bin, here are a few things to know.

Can I Recycle My Tupperware?

recycle tupperware

You can recycle the majority of your Tupperware. You will know whether or not your specific piece can be recycled when you see a triangle symbol on the bottom with a number inside.

Follow this guide to see whether or not you can recycle your plastic based on the number inside the recycle sign.

These numbers are standard within the plastic industry, and they help identify the specific type of plastic the item is made of and how it can be disposed of.

This numerical system has been in place since the 1980s, so there is a high chance you’ll find it on your Tupperware. You might have a vintage piece on your hands if you don’t see it.

Can I Recycle Non-Tupperware Reusable Containers?

While Tupperware is its brand, most people refer to any reusable plastic container as Tupperware. That being said, reusable plastic containers follow the same rules regarding whether or not you can recycle them.

You can recycle the lids on your plastic containers as well. Many recycling centers prefer it if you recycle your containers with the top, although it’s unnecessary if you don’t have it.

You can recycle the lids on their own too.

How Do I Know What Is And Isn’t Recyclable?

How Do I Know What Is And Isn't Recyclable

As previously mentioned, an icon on the bottom of your Tupperware or reusable container should tell you whether or not you can recycle it.

Each locality has different rules regarding specific items that you can recycle. It’s best to double-check on your city’s website what they are capable of recycling.

Why Can Only Certain Tupperware Containers Be Recycled?

You might think because almost all Tupperware or plastic containers are made of plastic, it’s a no-brainer to throw them in the recycling bin.

But not all plastics are the same.

Plastics with higher numbers on the scale cannot be, as most recycling facilities don’t have the means to break them down.

What If My Tupperware Is Stained?

Tupperware with food in

No matter how meticulously you clean your Tupperware or reusable containers, they can be stained or dyed from food.

Even though we consider reusable containers plastic, they are specifically made of polypropylene, which sucks up food and keeps it trapped.

Of course, you want to clean your Tupperware as thoroughly as possible and let it dry entirely before recycling it.

As long as there is no residue, you should be able to recycle discolored containers.

How Can I Reuse My Tupperware That Can’t Be Recycled?

Tupperware with sandwiches in

There are many ways you can repurpose your old Tupperware or reusable containers that don’t require a lot of extra material or artistic skills.

They can become helpful in many other areas of your home besides food storage.

Many people already use Tupperware or plastic containers as storage, regardless of their condition. They are handy for holding a bundle of small things that could get lost easily.

They are also great for those things you would typically throw in a junk store, such as batteries, cords, paper clips, and the like.

One way to reuse your containers is to turn them into planters. They may not be the prettiest, but they are helpful. You can even poke holes in the lid to use them as water drainers.

Old Tupperware is also fantastic for creating, storing, and transporting homemade travel kits, such as first aid, toiletry, or sewing.

You can purchase these premade, but they can be pricey because of the convenience. Put your own together and throw it in your bag the next time you go away.

Recycling is a great way to help contribute to a safer planet, but only if done correctly. It takes effort to ensure you’re recycling the right items, but it’s worth it.

One wrong thing in a recycling bin can infect everything else, so it’s best to take care and recycle well.


To recycle Tupperware or other food storage containers, you need to understand what it is made of.

The good news is that you can reuse it even if you cannot recycle your plastic containers or old Tupperware!

Good luck!