Skip to Main Content

Good planets are hard to find. So let's keep this one clean. 

Circular CLT is an initiative from Envision Charlotte to collect #5 plastics and transform them into new products.

The Skinny on #5 Plastics: Tons of products are made from #5 plastics, including most takeout containers, but many of them are not accepted for recycling in our local curbside recycling programs. You may be putting them in the green bin, but that is likely to send your whole bin to the landfill. We have a better alternative! 

Drop off your #5 plastics in the recycling barrel at the info tent of the South End Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, 8 am - 1 pm. The plastics must be clean and sticker-free. At present, only black, clear, or white #5 plastics are accepted in this program. Plastics must be sparkling clean, and cannot have any printing or branding on them. (This is a change from early in 2022, due to limited demand for local users of other kinds of #5 plastic.) 

Envision Charlotte will process acceptable plastics that are collected at the market, processing them into raw pellets that can then be used in PPE and new plastic products manufactured locally, like kayak parts. 


What kind of plastics are you accepting?  

We accept all white, clear or black #5 plastics, as long as they are clean, have no color or printing on them, and have all stickers & residue removed. All plastics have a recycling symbol on the product, usually on the bottom. If there is a #5 inside the symbol, you are good to go! If it has a different number, than it unfortunately cannot be accepted at this time. 

Why can't I put these in my curbside recycling bins?

Currently in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, the ONLY plastic that you should put in your curbside bin are plastic containers that have a neck. (Think: a beverage bottle, a mayo jar - a clean one!) That’s it. No solo cups, no salad containers, no plastic clothes hangers, no coffee cup lids, and certainly no plastic bags. Why? Well, the long answer has to deal with global markets not taking our trash anymore–the short answer is simply, “plastic containers with necks are the only plastic where there is still a domestic market to sell to once collected.” If you're not sure what to do with something, try the City of Charlotte's Waste Wizard

Got it: Recycle Right. Check before you toss it in the bin. What else can we do?

You can spread the word, collect takeout containers, and make sure your friends and neighbors know how to recycle right!

Additionally, volunteers are needed every Thursday at the Innovation Barn to process and sort the takeout containers received. Check here for details. 

Want to volunteer at the Farmers Market? We'd love to have you. Sign up here.