Are Tins Recyclable?

The main question people often ask when it comes to food packaging is, “Are tins recyclable?” With more companies focusing on eco-friendly products and sustainable resources, consumers are more cafe with their buying habits. They look for products and packaging that can be recycled because it creates less waste and saves space in landfills.

Manufacturers are picking up on this trend and looking to use recyclable materials for their products to be more eco-friendly to appeal to a new type of buyer. Metal tins and bottles are durable and last for years and years, making them a good choice for food products such as coffee, tea, popcorn, cookies, spices, muffins, and more.

That’s Good News

Companies adopting sustainable packaging materials are taking more responsibility for the environment. Customers are increasingly aware of where a lot of the world’s trash ends up and making a conscious decision to support companies who use recycled materials, or use materials that can be recycled, is one step towards a cleaner environment,.

Most people are aware that you can recycle aluminum soda cans, tin cans from soup, and plastic milk jugs, but the area in between is sometimes a mystery. While you may not be able to put them directly in your curbside pickup container, almost all types of metal are recyclable. Some can be put in curbside cans, others can be taken to the recycling center, and some can be up-cycled into usable containers for other things.

Recycling FAQ’s About Tins and Metal Bottles

Here are a few questions consumers ask regarding special holiday foods tins and metal water bottles.

Are cookie tins recyclable?

Yes, most recycling programs will allow you to recycle cookie tins that hold Christmas cookies as long as they are clean and dry.

Are popcorn tins recyclable?

Decorative popcorn tins are also recyclable at most recycling centers. Just make sure they are free of food debris, clean, and dry before putting them in with the recycling.

Are spice tins recyclable?

Cookies, biscuits, popcorn, coffee, and tea tins are recyclable in most areas. Spice tins would also fall into this category. If you have questions, you can check with the EPA website or call your local recycling center.

Are metal water bottles and reusable coffee cups recyclable?

Metal water bottles are made out of steel. The recycling that you put out at the curb goes to a facility where it is sorted, crushed, and sent out to manufacturers that use recycled materials. The water bottles and coffee cups cannot be crushed and may actually damage the machinery. For this reason they are not allowed at the recycling center but can be recycled as scrap metal at a facility that accepts things like metal car parts, appliances, and other metal parts.

Are aluminum tins recyclable?

Yes, all types of aluminum are recyclable. That includes aluminum foil, foil cake pans, and other aluminum food containers.

Are mint tins recyclable?

Yes, just like the cookie tins, candy and mint tins are also recyclable. They can also be up-cycled for more uses. See below for ways to repurpose these items.

What to do with old cookie tins?

Besides recycling them, old cookie tins can be used for many things. They can be used to hold buttons and thread for sewing projects, spray painted and used for personalized gift packages, and glued together to make a 3-tiered holder for yarn balls. Other uses include:

  • Organizer for bottles of nail polish
  • Painted and made into candle holders
  • Made into a bird feeder
  • A decorative holder for pine cones and ribbon

As a holder for cotton balls, makeup supplies, and a dozen other things. You have lots of options for reusing them. Want more ideas for re-purposing your cookie tins?

Repurpose Your Candy Tins

Candy and mint tins are small and easy to carry in a purse, pocket, or backpack. When empty they can be refilled with spare coins for parking or the bus, a holder for crayons or mini dry erase markers, a holder for recipe or flash cards, a holder for beads or buttons, sea shells, and mini candles. Make them into a magnetic holder for keys, use several to organize hair accessories, or make mini emergency kits with band-aids, antibiotic cream, and single packets of pain reliever. More inventive uses include:

  • Organizer for nuts and bolts
  • Holder for sewing needles
  • Q-Tip holder
  • Jewelry holder for earrings, rings,
  • Refill with candy, nuts, trail mix

Repurposing Your Steel Water Bottles

Switching to metal water bottles is good for the environment and saves energy. It takes a lot of energy to make single-use plastic water bottles and reusable bottles only require the addition of water. They cost a bit more than plastic, but you can reuse them for so many things.

  • Reuse as a vase for fresh-cut flowers
  • Double as a thermos for hot or cold liquids (soups, coffee, tea)
  • Keep in the car to hold water for your pet during car rides
  • Donate old steel bottles to a thrift store, community organization
  • Use a wide mouth bottle for dispersing mess-free pancake mix
  • Use as a holder for dry goods when camping or hiking

Why Buy Recyclable?

These days consumers are more conscientious about the products they buy. Purchasing goods that can be recycled is good for the environment and for the economy. Being able to reuse something means you get more use out of that purchase, so you are saving money and doing your part as a responsible consumer. Companies that make these products are highly sought-after because they offer an alternative to the styrofoam and plastic containers that are everywhere and end up in the trash.