Information for Recycling Programs

Add Cartons to Your Recycling Program

Food and beverage cartons are recyclable, and they contain some of the highest quality fiber available. Cartons are recycled and turned into new products via several end markets in North America, as well as abroad.

Benefits Overview

Divert More Waste by Capturing Cartons

Communities across the U.S. have added cartons to their local programs, and Carton Council can help your program make carton recycling successful:


More than 78.7 million U.S. households can recycle cartons through 13,800 local curbside and drop-off programs, and more recycling programs are always adding cartons.


If your recycling program already accepts cartons, we have materials to help promote food and beverage carton recycling to your residents. Education grants are also available.


If food and beverage cartons are not yet accepted in your recycling program, the Carton Council can help you get started on diverting them from your waste stream.

The Process

Understanding Food & Beverage Carton Recycling

Like other materials, food and beverage cartons are sorted and baled at materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and then shipped to recyclers. The Carton Council has grants available to help MRFs determine the best way to add cartons.

When recycled, cartons are used to make new paper products or building materials via end markets in North America and overseas.

At a paper mill, a hydrapulper separates the fiber from cartons’ layers so they can go on to make new paper products such as paper towels, toilet paper, tissues and paper for writing, printing and even books.

At a building materials manufacturing facility, cartons are shredded and heat pressed into sustainable building materials, such as roofing and wall board.

Learn More about MRFs