Takeout Containers (Plastic)

Burbank Recycle Center Drop-Off Recycle Container

Only clear, plastic #1 PET clamshells (also called thermoforms) as well as plastic #5 (Polypropylene or PP) are accepted for recycling.  Clamshells include clear produce containers, take out containers, and cups.  Please remove all food and lightly rinse.

  • Clamshells that are not accepted for recycling and are trash: 
    • Colors (especially black):  Colors have limited commodity value given the color cannot be removed.  Black plastic (made from any resin type) is also hard to sort and may not get recycled.
    • Compostable clamshells: NEVER place bioplastics, even those marked as PLA (polyactic acid), in the recycling or green cart. This is a trash item in Burbank due to the challenges they pose at recycling and composting facilities.  “Compostable” plastics are not recyclable, and they are a huge problem for composters because they break down at a much slower rate than traditional organic materials, such as food scraps and landscrape trimmings.   Find out more about bioplastics.
    • Non #1 PET:  Such as electronic trays, or #6 PS (a plastic form of polystyrene) are trash, no matter what color.  

While recycling is good, always try to reduce single use packaging when possible.

Rinse Out Before Recycling

Plastic containers should be scraped and rinsed before they are put in the recycling. Food traces contaminate the recycling process.

Compostable Plastics

Do not recycle plastic containers labeled “compostable” because they are not recyclable. They will be contaminate the recyclable plastic if they do not get separated during the sorting process.


Do Not Reuse

Plastic takeout containers are made up of chemicals that may leach into your food if you use them more than once.

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.

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.