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

Circular CLT is an initiative from Envision Charlotte to collect clean plastic takeout food containers and transform them into new products.

The Skinny on #5 Takeout Container Plastics: Did you know that most of your plastic takeout containers are not actually recyclable? Nope. You may be putting them in the green bin, but unfortunately that's just likely to send your whole bin to the landfill. We have a better alternative! 

Bring them, cleaned, to the South End Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

We'll collect them so that Envision Charlotte can process them and turn them into PPE and new plastics. A win all around! 

OK, so what do I do? Collect clean and sticker-free #5 takeout food containers and bring them to the South End Farmers Market each Saturday from 8am - 1pm.

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


What kind of plastics are you accepting?  

We can ONLY accept black and clear clamshell takeout food containers that you get from restaurants. They must be washed & clean, without any food, stickers, or labels. On the bottom of the black material, there must be a #5 “PP” recycle triangle.

Can you accept other food containers such as those that hold berries, salad mix, rotisserie chickens, etc?

WRONG. Not all plastics are the same, not even those that might look similar. They may be shaped similarly, they may even have the same number in the “recycle triangle,” however chemically their compositions can be very different. A clamshell that holds strawberries for instance can be made from #1 PET, #5 PP, or #6 PS plastic. Within each plastic, they can be blended with different polymers to give them different looks, feel, and functions. All of which will mean different melting points and processing methods when trying to create new products. By only accepting a very specific type of container, we are reducing as many variables as possible in order to ensure the most success in making PPE for frontline workers.

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 berry clamshells, 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, we need volunteers every Thursday at the Innovation Barn to process and sort the takeout containers received. Check here for details.