If your family participates in a springtime egg hunt tradition, chances are you are familiar with the dozens of colorful plastic eggs we see in grocery stores, scattered on lawns, and at community events this time of year.
What's the Problem?
Despite being plastic, these novelty eggs are not recyclable in EDCO facilities. When mistakenly placed in blue recycling bins with good intentions, these eggs contaminate the recycling batch. This causes more work for the facility and can prevent other items from being recycled. Unfortunately, all plastic eggs must be disposed of in the trash. Additionally, most of these eggs are mass produced and shipped from overseas, which requires a lot of resources and contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions. These colorful eggs may make for a fun tradition, but proper reuse or disposal of them is essential in keeping our planet happy and healthy this spring.
How Can I Help?
Reusing what you already have is the most sustainable thing you can do. If you have leftover eggs from events in years past, use these before buying more. Since these items are only used once a year, they can be reused annually without suffering major wear and tear. Understandably, not everyone has extra room to store plastic eggs. If you find yourself looking at the trash bin as the most appealing option, consider reaching out to your local Boys and Girls Club, church, or other community organization to see if they could reuse the eggs for any springtime events. These seemingly single-use plastics also have the potential to be upcycled into planters, ornaments, maracas, and more!
What are Some Alternatives*?
If you need to purchase eggs, consider those made from recycled materials, which tend to be sturdier and can be reused for years to come. Some eco-concious options include:
- Fillable wooden eggs
- Cardboard Eggs (Tip: Let the kids paint them before your egg hunt. They will have so much fun seeing their own eggs in the morning!)
- Cloth eggs
- Eggs made from recycled materials
*Find more information about these options with a quick online search or visit to your local craft store.
What About Dyed Eggshells?
Dyed eggshells are still compostable in your curbside green organics bin. However, cardboard eggs likely are not. To learn more about what belongs in your curbside organics and recycling bins, visit the Trash & Recycling page on the City’s website.
Your spring egg hunt can still be just as fun while being eco-friendly. Remember: When in doubt, throw it out!