Takeout Containers (Cardboard)

Trash Organics

Do not place plant-based (bioplastic) takeout containers in the recycling. The addition of bioplastic, wax, petroleum plastic, and/or food residue are considered contaminants. Fiber-based takeout containers may be accepted in your organics container, see below.

Place in Trash Container

  • Bioplastic takeout containers. Looks and feels like plastic, but made from plants.
  • Paper takeout containers with a liner. These have a liner made from bioplastic, petroleum plastic, or wax. The outside looks like paper and the inside has a glossy liner.

Place in Organics Container (if food scraps are allowed)*

  • Fiber-based takeout containers. These containers must be 100% fiber-based and have no liner, coating, or filler that is made from petroleum plastic, bioplastic, or wax. Looks like molded fiber with a matte finish.

*For those Athens communities, where food is accepted in the organics container, 100% fiber-based takeout containers are allowed with green waste collection. If food is not allowed in your organics container, please place these items in the trash.

Does my city accept food scraps and food-soiled paper in the organics container?

  • Commercial Accounts: Athens can provide food scrap collection for most business accounts. Check your city for verification.
  • Residential Accounts: Currently, not all cities have added food scrap collection to their services. Check your city for verification.

Consider Reuse

  • For leftovers, bring resuable containers with you or keep extras in your car.
  • To avoid recieving a takeout container when picking up food, order for onsite dining, then transfer contents to a reusable container.

Ways to Reduce


Bring Your Own To-Go Container

When dining out, bring a reusable to-go container so that you can bring leftovers home sustainably.

Reusable Packaging For Businesses

Check out Upstream’s catalog of reusable packaging and unpackaging innovators that provide ways for consumers to obtain products, mostly food and beverages, in returnable, reusable, or refillable packaging – or they deliver products to consumers unpackaged altogether.

Did You Know?

The Preferred Takeout Container

Out of all the types of takeout containers — aluminum, cardboard, wax-lined paperboard, plastic and foam — aluminum is the easiest for recycling plants to recycle, while foam is the most difficult.