Egg Cartons (Paper) Put in Recycling Cart Avoid Food Traces Only clean, dry egg cartons can be put in recycling. If you place eggs back in the carton after cracking them, the carton is no longer recyclable: food residue is a contaminant for paper and plastic recycling. Paper Cartons Are Compostable If you have a home compost, add in paper egg cartons. These cartons are made from paperboard, which works as a brown material to help the pile break down more quickly. Ways to Reuse Upcycle There are hundreds of ways to reuse egg cartons from making arts and crafts to starting a fire. Did You Know? Paperboard Cartons Are More Eco-Friendly Than Foam Ones As you grocery shop, think about where your food packaging will end up. Eggs often come in paper or foam casing. Did you know that paperboard packaging is the more eco-friendly option? It’s recyclable and biodegradable. Foam is less so because it’s made from polystyrene, or plastic #6, which is a petroleum product and often not recycled. Even if paperboard ends up in a landfill, it will break down and leave no harmful traces. Designing a More Eco-Friendly Egg Carton One Hungarian graduate student designed an egg carton made from far less material. It is a design change that could have a huge environmental impact because it cuts down on every household’s waste. Her finished product is a single piece of cardboard that flips open and shut. View this egg carton design.