Are Yogurt Cups Recyclable? (And Are They Compostable?)

There is this feeling we often cannot describe when we take a scoop of chilled yogurt. The feeling gets even better when you take a scoop of your yogurt in your favorite flavor.

This feeling is often one of ecstasy mixed with unexplained excitement. That is why many of us can’t fathom the idea of doing away with yogurts.

However, beyond the excitement we get when we consume the yogurt, there are other things we need to turn our focus to. And one of such is the environmental effect of the yogurt cups.

Remember that your yogurt is always in a soluble state. So, it must come with cups. Just like everyone else, you only need the content, and once you get this, the cup is no longer useful. So, what happens after this? You throw them away? What if there are other things to do with the yogurt cups? Is it possible for you to recycle yogurt cups?

Can You Recycle Yogurt Cups?

There are many yogurt cups out there that sometimes you are forced to wonder if they are second citizens. Day after day, thousands, if not millions of yogurt cups filled with yogurt are sold. And you wonder where the cups go after the yogurts have been consumed? Well, you might have guessed right. They go into the waste bin or may even end up on the streets.

But then, this does not help the environment. So, we ask, is there a way to recycle yogurt cups. Or, to not jump the gun, can you even recycle yogurt cups? You are about to find out about that. Let’s go.

The simple answer to this is that your yogurt cups are recyclable. Well, we know you want answers more than this. So, let’s explain how this is possible.

Your yogurt cups are used to hold yogurts that are easily soluble. The implication of this is that they have to be made with something that liquids can’t pull apart. What comes to mind is plastic. And, true to it, these are the materials used to make yogurt cups. Your yogurt cups are plastic materials. But they are the plastic materials categorized as number 5 or #5. This makes them fit for recycling.

However, recycling them may be a problem. The problem is that the kind of plastics, also called polypropylene, cost a lot to recycle. They are not like the other plastic materials easily tossed in the recycling machine without any worry.

This is why many recycling stations that cannot afford the running cost of recycling don’t bother collecting the yogurt cups. This creates another problem for you.

The problem is finding the recycling stations that collect yogurt cups for recycling. The chances are that your local recycling station may not accept it. You can always confirm with your local recyclers before tossing the yogurt cups in the recycling bin.

For the recycling centers that accept the yogurt cups, they often melt them. After this, they mix them with other recyclable plastic to form mixed plastics. Most times, the kind of mixed plastics are transferred abroad for use.

Are Yogurt Cups Compostable?

This is another question that some people find answers to. The answer is quite simple and straightforward. If you have been reading from the beginning of this post, you should have known the answer. So, let’s get to it.

Can you compost your yogurt cups? The answer is No; you cannot compost yogurt cups. Let’s explain why.

Like we stated above, yogurts cups are made from plastics. Though these plastics are number 5 type, it doesn’t make them less of plastic. As you might have read or guessed right, plastics take extremely long years before they biodegrade. This means that you can’t compost them. Remember that to make your compost, the content of your compost bin needs to biodegrade. As this does not happen to plastic, it makes it impossible to compost your plastic yogurt cups.

Are Yogurt Lids Recyclable?

You might want to hit a pause right here. You are wondering, can you recycle your yogurt lids? True to it, you can recycle your yogurt cups, but is this the same for your yogurt lids?

Well, if the answer you are searching for is no, we are sorry to disappoint you. Yes, you can recycle your yogurt lids. And you can do this because the lids are made of recyclable materials. This is why many recycling companies love the idea of having them in their recyclable items.

When you are considering recycling your yogurt lids, always go for the right choice, which is for you to recycle it.

Are Yogurt Cartons Recyclable?

If you don’t get your yogurts in the cups, there are higher chances that you will get them in the cartons. The same way that we have many yogurt cups is the same way we have many yogurt cartons.

So, the question boils down to whether you can recycle the yogurt cartons too. The answer is No, you can’t. Unlike the yogurt cups that contain only one material, which is plastic, the yogurt cartons do not.

Though most yogurt cartons are paper material, to allow it to hold the yogurt, some thin plastics have been added. These cartons are coated with thin plastics to help guide against leakage and help withstand the freezing temperature.

And to recycle papers, recyclers would need to first break it down in the water. For the yogurt cartoons, the plastic coatings would prevent this. So, it makes recycling a big problem.

Due to this state of things, you cannot recycle yogurt cartons.

5 Surprising Ways To Reuse Yogurt Cups

After consuming your yogurt and setting your taste bud on fire, what next? You don’t have to think too much about it, we will tell you what you often do. You find a way to throw the yogurt cups in the waste bin. Or better still, recycle them.

But then, could there be another way to this? What if there is a way to reuse your yogurt cups? Creativity is never-ending, you know? So, it all depends on how well you can stretch your creativity.

For us, what we can tell you is that there are always numerous ways to creatively reuse your yogurt cups. We don’t intend to stop here and leave you hanging, though. That is why we are moving a step forward. In this segment, you will find the creative things you can do with your yogurt cups. Like we started, get ready to stretch your creativity level. If you are ready, let’s go.

1. Make A Bracelet

If looking gorgeous gets to you all the time, but you are worried about how much you spend on some pieces of jewelry, there’s a solution here. With your yogurt cups, you can make as many bracelets as you desire. If you need to have bracelets to fit every outfit you have got, this is the time for you.

All you have to get are your desired yarn or fabrics, glue, and scissors. Well, don’t also forget to come along with your creativity.

After getting these things, you will use the scissors to cut the top of the yogurt cups. Next, you will wrap or design it with your yarn or fabrics. After this, you can then use your glue to hold the yarn or fabric’s loose end.

The more fabrics and yogurt cups you have, the more bracelets you would be able to make.

2. Make A Gardening Container

There is no perfect way to get started with your gardening than to have your seeds sorted out. This way, you can be sure to have a great garden in a short time.

To ensure this sorting easily, you can use your yogurt cups. This way, all you have to do is put the seeds in the cups according to how you want to plant them. This helps you get things together and know where each set of seeds are.

You can even take it a step further and use it as a primary planter. This way, you will have to add some soil to the cups and then a few seeds. Once you water it for some time, you can then watch your plant grow. Do not forget to place it where there is sunlight.

After your plant has grown to a certain stare, you can then replant it in your garden for proper rooting and faster growth.

3. Use As A Sorter

You can use your yogurt cups as a sorter for your supplies. This is particularly helpful if you have things that are small and could get misplaced at any time. If you have kids too, you just can’t help but use the yogurt cups to sort out some of their coloring pens and other things.

You can sort them by color or size. This way, your home or offices will be more orderly. If you have trouble keeping your earrings when you pull them off, too, you can start keeping them in the yogurt cups. With the kids, you can be sure that your things are safe.

4. Use As Dips Containers

Many people love the idea of having dips with their meal. If you are one of these people, then you need not look elsewhere for your dip containers.

All you have to do is get a yogurt cups that have lids. This way, you will be able to protect your food from spilling in your lunch bag. Since the yogurt containers are small, you can even fit them in your office lunch box. Doing things this way would save you some money, as well as some time wiping off dip stains (pun very much intended).

5. Use As A mixer

Sometimes, you want to mix some things, but you can’t seem to lay your hands on the right container. It might even be that you have the containers, but what you want to mix may render the containers useless afterward. In those situations, your yogurt cups can come to the rescue.

The fact that they are small gives you the convenience you may need when mixing things. Aside from this, the fact that you might not need them again allows you to use them for mixing what way renders them useless. So, as you can see, you win both ways. Instead of leaving the yogurt cups to lie fallow, why not put them to great use today?


For many people, the enjoyment they get out of their yogurt ends when the spoon scrapes the last drop; this does not have to be the case. Like we have proven above, there are many things you can do with your yogurt cups and cartons. Besides, it’s your duty not to let them litter the ground, so what you have to do is follow what we have said above, recycling where possible, and reuse where possible. This way, you are making the environment safe for us.

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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.