Can You Recycle Plastic Silverware (And How)

Fact Checked
Photo of author
Written By Georgios Sinis


Multiple plastic silverware items with a symbol on the top right indicating they are not recyclable

You can not recycle plastic silverware through curbside programs. The most common type of plastic silverware you’ll come across is chrome-plated cutlery which can not be recycled outside specialized facilities. The same rule applies to other plastic silverware items, such as containers and plates.

Disposal Method: Garbage Bin
Plastic Type (#): PP #5, PS #6

Please note: Recycling guidelines may vary depending on local regulations and facilities. The information provided here is intended as a general guide and may not apply to your specific location or item. Always check with your local recycling center or municipal authority for the most accurate and up-to-date recycling information in your area.

Typical RIC Symbols Used

#5 PP Plastic resin recycling symbol commonly used in plastic silverware

While #5 Polypropylene is technically recyclable, it is rarely processed. Its recycling rate is barely touching 1%.

Plastic recycling symbol RIC #6

The #6 Polystyrene plastic category is very difficult to recycle. No method is yet available to achieve economic sustainability.

Where To Recycle

  1. Use Recycling Locators: Locate specialized recycling programs near you using RecycleNation & Earth911 (US) or RecycleNow (UK). Search either “Silverware” or “PP”, or “PS”.
  2. Give them away on FreeCycle: If you just want to give them away, you can always use the FreeCycle website and create a post for free.
  3. Recycle Through Walmart: Walmart has its own dedicated plastics recycling program in place. They accept all kinds of plastics. While they don’t specify if they accept plastic silverware, it is worth giving it a shot.

Ways To Reduce Silverware Waste

Metallic cutlery is presented as a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic silverware

If you want to reduce your overall plastic waste footprint, consider opting out of using plastic silverware. Instead, use portable metallic cutlery & utensils that will last a lifetime and are easily recyclable.