I recently had a Lean Cuisine (the first in awhile) and after enjoying the four cheese cannelloni I had a question. I know that I can recycle the cardboard box the meal came in, but what about the meal tray that houses the before mentioned meal? I found out that indeed, “Yes I can!”. It turns out that most microwave and oven-ready meal trays are made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE), which is #1 of the Plastic Identification Codes. #1 products can be recycled can be recycled by your home-recycling pick-up program or local recycling center.
ConAgra Foods, one of the leading manufacturers of meal trays, has frozen meal trays made from post-consumer recycled plastic. The trays, which contain up to 40 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, will divert approximately 8 million pounds of plastic from landfills to the recycling stream each year. You can do your part as well; recycle those meal trays instead of throwing them in the trash.
ConAgra Foods has partnered with Associated Packaging Technologies to utilize a new technology that cleans recycled plastic for use as a component in frozen meal trays. Older plastics technologies limited food companies to using only new plastic to comply with regulations for direct food contact materials. The new ultra-clean processing technology makes it safe for consumers to eat the prepared food directly from the frozen meal trays. The new trays are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as direct food contact materials.
So, can microwave meal trays be recycled? Yes