Why can't I recycle egg cartons

Never reuse old egg cartons

From myHOMEBOOK | April 9, 2021, 1:28 p.m.

After Easter in particular, many households produce empty egg cartons. Often they are disposed of directly, but sometimes they are also reused, as there are some recycling options. However, this is not a good idea.

Even if it may seem sensible in terms of sustainability to convert empty egg cartons into mini growing containers, for example, it is better not to use them again. Refilling with eggs from the weekly market is also not recommended.

Why shouldn't you reuse empty egg cartons?

For reasons of hygiene, one should refrain from reusing used egg cartons. Numerous germs and pathogens such as salmonella, which can lead to health problems, can sit on the surfaces. Feces that sometimes stick to the eggs can be responsible for the transmission of diseases. In addition, there is the fact that the boxes cannot be cleaned.

This is also emphasized by the German Food Hygiene Regulation (LMHV), according to which all food must be protected from contamination. This applies to production, storage and transport. This regulation speaks out against the reuse of old egg cartons, as these can be contaminated with pathogens. In the event of a misuse, they are quickly transferred and health risks such as gastrointestinal complaints can arise. People with weak immune systems as well as the elderly and children are particularly at risk.

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According to the LMHV, reusable packaging should also be easy to clean, which is not possible with egg cartons due to the material. The germs therefore stick to the surface for a longer period of time and can also be transferred at a later point in time.

Proper handling of eggs in the household

If eggs are used for cooking or baking, special hygiene is required. Important: Be sure to wash your hands after breaking an egg. Because the germs quickly land on the skin and are then transferred to other foods. In addition, cooking utensils should be cleaned thoroughly with hot water after they have come into contact with eggs.

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How do you properly dispose of egg cartons?

Egg cartons can be disposed of in the waste paper - which should also be done after the eggs have been used up. This means they can be recycled, which is beneficial for sustainable use. If the cardboard boxes are very dirty, for example because an egg has broken, the residual waste bin is a good choice. Otherwise the waste paper container or the blue bin is the right choice.

Note: There are also plastic egg cartons that are easy to clean and can therefore be reused. Regardless of whether you are shopping at the weekly market or storing it in the refrigerator - the plastic containers are the better alternative compared to egg cartons. Hot water and detergent can be used for cleaning.

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