Can You Recycle Cream Cheese Wrappers?

Do you like to eat cream cheese? If so, then you’re probably familiar with the foil wrappers that the cream cheese comes in. But did you know that these wrappers are not recyclable?

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In this blog post, we will discuss whether or not cream cheese wrappers can be recycled.

Recycling the cream cheese wrappers?

First, let’s take a look at the different types of wrappers that cream cheese can come in. Cream cheese often comes in a foil wrapper, a cling wrap wrapper, or a plastic tub.

The foil wrapper nowadays is often made out of a multilayer of aluminum foil, paper, and plastics. It is not recyclable as no current technologies can fully deconstruct the multilayer film wastes into pure, recyclable polymers (1). The common layers are made to provide an oxygen barrier, water barrier, and rigid barrier.

Philadelphia cream cheese

An example would be the Philadelphia cream cheese. It has been sold in tin foil wrappers since the 1800s in a brick shape – similar to how butter wrapped.

The paper box is recyclable, but the layered foil wrapper cannot be recycled. The company has vowed on making more environmentally friendly packaging for cream cheese by making all of its packaging recyclable by 2025.

The single-layer aluminum foil is recyclable (2).

Cling wrapper (plastic wrap), butcher paper, freezing paper, and parchment paper.

Even though less likely, if you find your cream cheese wrapped in blocks with these wrappers – They are generally not recyclable. These papers or wrappers are usually treated with chemicals or coated with plastics.

Plastic Tub

The plastic tub or container is recyclable. The type of plastic with a number between 1-7 on the bottom means the tub is made from can be recycled through most curbside recycling programs or in-store drop off recycling programs

You will find a recycle symbol on the bottom of the tub – this means that you can recycle it.

Reference:

  1. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/butcher-paper-vs-parchment-paper#4-common-types-of-butcher-paper
  2. https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/clingfilm-0
  3. https://portlandmaine.gov/2394/Waste-Reduction-Recycling#!rc-cpage=207521
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