Tubs of spinach — trash.
Strawberry clamshells — trash.
Tomato clamshells — trash.
According to Wikipedia, “a clamshell is a one-piece container consisting of two halves joined by a hinge area which allows the structure to come together to close.” Clamshells usually come with a resin code, so I always thought they were recyclable. However, my apartment recycling guidelines claimed otherwise.
The clamshell is destined for the landfill? I was a bit confused. Clamshells seem like perfectly good plastic. So, why can’t they be recycled? I asked the Office of Sustainability here on the Princeton Campus and I was given two reasons:
- Recyclers have a hard time selling recycled clamshells because manufacturers don’t want them. Recycling is market driven, so if there isn’t demand, the material isn’t recyclable.
- Clamshells can jam recycling equipment due to their shape. Apparently, the shape of a container is more important than the resin code. Most clamshells have a resin code of #1. However, this is not the same #1 as plastic bottles, which is confusing.
Check with your local recycler, but you should probably be throwing your clamshells in the trash.