Recycling NJ
Food and Drink Cartons

Food and Drink Cartons

Food cartons and juice boxes (also called tetrapak's) are commonly used for the packaging of milk, juice or soup products.

Although food cartons are primarily made from paper they are not as easy to recycle as other paper based products because they have a plastic lining inside them, to prevent the liquid they contain from damaging the paper carton itself. Specialist equipment is required at the paper mill, to skim off the plastic from the paper pulp made during the paper recycling process.

Therefore, not all curbside recycling schemes in New Jersey currently accept food cartons in their mixed paper or commingled collections.

To find out if your municipal curbside recycling collection accepts cartons consult your local town or county recycling website, depending on who manages the collection from outside your home.

If cartons are not accepted in your curbside recycling collection they may still be accepted for drop off at your local recycling center. Consult your county recycling website to find out if they accept food cartons and for information on opening times and drop off locations.

The plastic cap from the carton should not be included with the food carton when it is recycled. For information on how you can recycle plastic bottle or carton caps see our bottle cap recycling webpage.