How can I reuse or recycle plastic/foam egg boxes?

We’ve had an email from Rowena asking about reuses for foam egg boxes:

I’ve seen all the ideas for paper egg boxes but I get plastic ones sometimes. I can’t even compost them!! What can I do?

The first suggestion I have is possibly a little unhelpful but “reduce” – don’t get the plastic ones any more. As I said, that’s probably a little unhelpful because I’m guessing that you wouldn’t get them if you had a choice but still, it’s always worth reducing if you can.

One advantage foam boxes have over cardboard ones is that they’re not so easily damaged when they get wet so they’re better for certain reuses – I remember using them as colour palette while painting as a kid. They can also be reused many times for their intended purpose – offer them to chicken-owning friends or take them with you to use when you buy eggs from somewhere that sells them loose (such as certain farmers’ market stalls or markets in general).

Any other suggestions specifically for foam ones?

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16 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle plastic/foam egg boxes?”

  1. Kate E. says:

    Schools and libraries around here love to use these as paint palettes for kids, as you’ve mentioned. They really are one of the best things for this job and are much appreciated.

    I guess you could also use them to start seeds?

  2. Chicgeek says:

    I found this in a very old Highlights magazine. Make a mancala game! Just use pebbles, buttons, whatever for the game pieces, add a cup at each end to collect them, and look up a copy of the rules. Anyone with a classroom, scout troop, whatever could have fun with that.

    Also, for crafty types, perhaps the compartments would be good to keep beads sorted while you work?
    Or storage for tiny things?

    My sis knew someone who raised chickens, selling eggs on a small scale, and she had everyone she knew save egg cartons for her. Dunno how you’d find a needy poultry farmer, though!

  3. caroline says:

    we use egg boxes for chitting potatoes. Plastic ones would last year after year for this.

  4. Kara says:

    They can often still be used for the same crafts as the paper ones (like the egg carton tulips), just less color since they’re hard to paint. Several farmers at the local market collect only the styrofoam and plastic kind to reuse because they can be sanitized before putting fresh eggs in them.

    Here is my favorite egg carton craft link:

  5. sasha says:

    Ive used the plastic egg cartons to as soap molds (i’m experimenting with making soap) The cardboard egg cartons are good to hold excess dryer lint, poor a little lighter fluid into, and then use as campfire starters (thats what my mom did when we were kids)

  6. taphophile says:

    I use the bottom, individual egg, bit for jewellry. A pair of earrings, or single bracelet or chain per egg compartment. They stack well in the drawer, too.

  7. Lizzy says:

    If you have kids who play with plasticine, you could store it in one of these, using each egg thing for a different colour to keep them separate.

  8. Anna says:

    These containers are perfect for storing Chistmas ornaments, like tree decorations or easter eggs (no the edible ones, of course).
    We use them too, to grow seeds (with or without a clear plastic cover)

  9. Bobbie says:

    I keep chickens and love it when anyone saves them for me.

  10. babyruthless says:

    I use them to start seeds in. They are better than the cardboard ones for this purpose because the paper ones get pulpy.

  11. Dyneshia says:

    I just posted some egg cartons on the local FreeCycle here thinking that someone who has chickens may need them… got a reply within just a few hours

  12. Judy says:

    I give all of my egg cartons to a local food pantry. They receive eggs in bulk and need cartons to redistribute the eggs.

  13. Diana says:

    I give them to people I know who have chickens. They can always use egg cartons.

  14. Cybella says:

    Egg cartons are good for displaying collections. I keep my rock collections in them. Ice trays also work for this.

  15. Linda says:

    I have a lot of cardboard egg cartons that I want to recycle. I will send them to you if you want them.

  16. Catherine says:

    I use them as cells for planting individual seeds. Yes if you use the cardboard ones you can put those straight into the ground when transplanting, but the foam and plastic ones are not difficult to get the plant lets out without too much root damage. Hope this helps

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