Are Cereal Boxes Recyclable? (And Are They Compostable?)

Everyone enjoys a bowl of cereal from time to time. In developing households where there are young children, cereals are pretty indispensable. They are easy to prepare, and if you choose carefully, you can find one or two brands that produce cereals with some of the required nutrients for growth and development.

When you are running late for work, you can rely on a bowl of cereal to bail you out of missing out on breakfast. If given the opportunity, children and young adults do not mind having cereal for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner. It is the go-to meal when you need fast food.

But did you know that a meal you derive so much pleasure and satisfaction from consuming comes in a package that has the potential to damage our planet? Cereal boxes are made from lightweight cardboard that, if disposed of wrongly, can cause a lot of damage in the long run.

There is a way to save our environment and ourselves, which is to recycle our cereal boxes. An act as minute as snipping your cereal boxes into pieces and dumping them in a recycling bin contributes to prolonging the lifespan of our planet. There are various reasons for this.

If you are reading this blog post, it means you are conscious of your environment. It is an impressive mentality, and you are making a wise decision. We have created this blog post to help you find ways to properly and safely dispose of your numerous cereal boxes. So dive right into this article to learn more!

Can You Recycle Cereal Boxes?

Recycling cereal boxes is possible and very much advised. It is one of the ways we can individually contribute to saving ourselves and our environment. We are also conserving our resources because cereal manufacturers can use recycled cereal boxes to make more cereal boxes or even other materials useful to us.

When your box of cereal finishes, you can’t hold onto it forever. You can’t use them to store things for a long time, they may hold those things for a while, but you would eventually have to dispose of them.

Cereal boxes are acceptable at recycling centers; they fall under the paper category. All you have to do is ensure that the boxes are indeed empty, flatten them, and, if possible, chop them into tiny pieces. You can pack the pieces with the papers you want to recycle and have them done together when you have done this.

You may also want to check the instructions on your cereal boxes. Some cereals have specific instructions regarding how to dispose of the boxes appropriately. If you are in doubt, you could also ask the workers at your recycling center how you are supposed to dispose of certain cereal boxes.

Following these steps means you have chosen to join in the fight to save our environment, and yourself and we applaud you for it. It seems insignificant, but we assure you that these steps go a long way in prolonging our planet’s lifespan.

Are Cereal Boxes Wax Coated?

Wax-coated boxes are used for packaging foods that tend to spoil if they come in contact with water. The inner part is lined with a thin layer of wax that protects the dry foods from getting soggy. Thus, it helps prolong the lifespan of these foods.

Sometimes, most of the foods we cook come in cardboard boxes. Examples are wet and frozen foods. These are foods that we cannot do without.

Wet foods packaged in boxes are also lined with a thin layer of wax to prevent the liquid from seeping outside the box. Some of these foods include frozen foods, milk, yogurt and juices that come in cardboard boxes.

Cereals do not contain any form of liquid. They are dry and crunchy foods, so their boxes do not need to be lined with wax. In addition, there are instructions to keep cereal boxes away from water, so the chances of water seeping into them and damaging the cereal are pretty low. Most of us cannot deny that we are used to keeping our cereal in a cupboard reserved for dry foods.

Most cereal boxes are not lined with wax because they do not need to be. However, it is at the discretion of the manufacturers to choose whether or not they want the boxes lined.

Are Cereal Boxes Compostable?

Compostable materials are products that can act as fertilizers for our plants. The best part is that they are pretty easy to find. So if you have a garden in your backyard, you can use biodegradable materials from your home as a fertilizer of some sort.

Well, your cereal boxes can function as compost materials because they are biodegradable. If you have no idea what biodegradable materials are, you don’t need to worry. We will straighten that out for you, so just relax and read on!

Biodegradable materials are materials that microorganisms can break down. Therefore, they are materials that are prone to decay in the long run. The period for decomposition ranges from one material to another.

When you finish your next box of cereal, instead of recycling it or throwing it away, you can opt to have it chopped up and added to the soil on your garden; this is one of the uses, the other being recycling it.

If you have no use for compost materials because you don’t have a garden, you can donate them to people who have gardens instead of recycling your cereal boxes. Your friend who enjoys gardening would be pretty grateful if you showed up with chopped cardboard for compost materials for their garden.

Are Cereal Boxes Biodegradable?

Any material that can easily be broken down by microorganisms is biodegradable. Note that the rate of decomposition also matters. For example, it would take a lot less time for a plant to go through decay than it would a piece of paper.

When they get decomposed, some materials can be pretty harmful to humans because some gases are released into the air as a result of their decomposition, which is one of the reasons recycling is prioritized.

However, a lot of other materials bring about positive change when they are decomposed. Some materials that bring positive change when decomposed include dead animals, dead plants, food waste and animal and human waste.

Cereal boxes fall under the category of biodegradable materials. Microorganisms can break them down. The breakdown process could take a while because these boxes are made of a thicker type of paper. If you want to speed up the degradation process, you can cut the boxes into pieces and soak them in soapy water.

Are Cereal Box Liners Recyclable?

Our cereals come in liners designed to be airtight and keep them crispy. These liners are made from polyethylene plastic and now have the form of a nylon bag that can successfully hold your cereal. They are also designed to keep water out of the box and prevent your cereal from getting soggy.

Some manufacturers opt for box liners closer to paper than plastic, and these bags tear like paper when you try opening them.

Cereal boxes liners that are made of plastic are recyclable. They are made from plastics that are considered easy to recycle. These liners can be recycled with your other plastic bags if you have no use for them anymore.

However, the cereal boxes liners that feel like paper when you tear them should not be recycled. You should dispose of them carefully, and the sanitation workers would sort them out. You don’t have to worry about liners like this because manufacturers hardly ever use them.

What Can You Do With a Cereal Box?

We consume a substantial amount of cereal yearly, which means that each household has a considerable amount of cereal boxes to dispose of. Of course, you can recycle them. Recycling is the best way to get rid of your cereal boxes. You can guarantee that you are not harming your environment, and you are also not storing dirt.

However, beyond recycling your cereal boxes, there are other things you can use them for. These days, almost everything manufactured has multiple uses, and cereal boxes are part of them. So here are a few things you can use your cereal boxes for.

1. Arts and Crafts

If you have kids in the house, they will enjoy this challenge with you. There are various DIY projects that you can pull out of cereal boxes. If you enjoy arts and crafts, you could also organize an arts and crafts session for you and your friends. Everyone would have fun creating beautiful DIYs from cereal boxes.

A safe and fun way to get rid of your cereal boxes is to turn them into amazing household items that you can use to beautify your house. You can also use them to make things that you can use both at home or at work.

Some of them include mini notebooks, gift tags, drawer organizers, business cards, gift boxes and coasters. Tutorials on making these would be abundant on YouTube, so you can check them out at your leisure.

2. Compostable Materials

If you enjoy tending a garden, then your empty cereal boxes would be handy in this context. Cereal boxes are biodegradable, which means that they can decompose. In addition, they are made from paper, so essentially, they would serve as excellent compostable materials.

They decay well too, so don’t hesitate to chop up your cereal boxes and carefully plant them a little below the soil. Of course, it isn’t compulsory to plant them below the soil; however, to prevent your garden from looking like a mess, you may want to hide those pieces where no one would see them.

It may take a while for the pieces to decompose. A way around this is to soak them in a soapy way as it makes it very easy for the pieces to crumble away. After soaking them in soapy water, take them out and bury them in your soil and near your favorite plants.


Cereals are meals we consume often. They are tasty, easy to prepare and relatively light too. Unfortunately, frequent consumption would leave us with a substantial amount of cereal boxes to dispose of, and failing to dispose of them properly could endanger our environment.

We have provided fun and safe ways to dispose of your cereal boxes properly that would be doing you and your planet a solid. However, if you have merely been disposing of your cereal boxes with other disposable materials, we advise that you make a change today. It will be a satisfactory experience, and you would love it!


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.