Social Good

Carton Take Back Program

By Nellie's Kindness Crew

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At Nellie's Free Range Eggs, we have always led with kindness and compassion. Our hens aren't the only part of that equation: the Earth needs to be cared for, too. In 2013, Nellie's became a Certified B Corporation, but since long before that, we have been making decisions that take into account the health of our planet and environment, starting with our recycled (and recyclable!) packaging.

Our Earth-friendly egg cartons

In 2012, we made the decision to put some critical thought and research into our carton design. We commissioned a study that found our cartons to be more Earth-friendly than other types, including molded paper pulp and Polystyrene.

Our cartons are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. In many parts of the country, there’s a surplus of recycled soda bottle plastic, and each carton puts that surplus to good use. When recycled again, our cartons are significantly less harmful to the environment than recycling pulp packaging, consuming far less energy and water, with no waste or added chemicals.

Why take back egg cartons?

Choosing to recycle is a thoughtful decision that we all try to make daily, and we've made that decision easy: our cartons are made from the world's most widely recycled plastics (#1), so they are readily accepted by most recycling programs. This means that when you send your Nellie's Free Range Egg cartons to a municipal recycler, they're given a chance to be made into new packaging. If you live in a state or county that doesn't recycle #1 plastics, our Take Back program is a great choice.

How to join our Take Back program

Simply store your empty cartons until you've collected at least ten. The more you collect, the better! Transportation has a carbon footprint too, and shipping back larger batches at a time helps keep that footprint low. Once you have a hefty carton collection, "nest" them in a recycled box, then send an email with your name, mailing address, and the number of cartons you'll be mailing back to [email protected]. We'll send you a prepaid label to attach to your box. Drop your box off at the local post office and go about your day knowing that even a small action can make a big positive impact on our planet.


PennyOctober 13, 2019

I have been looking for a true free range egg option. That u use recycled plastic in your cartons is wonderful. You have my business


We're so thankful for your support and kind words, Penny! Thanks!

Diane HeitmannOctober 13, 2019

this is great! Our recycling just STOPPED taking this kind of plastic and its just so hard throwing them out. I will save them up!


That's great, we look forward to getting the cartons, Diane!

Gayle HooverOctober 13, 2019

This is great! We can recycle #1 plastic in our area, presumably, at least it's accepted by the collectors. However, I always wonder about the label inside. Can it be recycled with the carton, or does it go into "film" plastic recycling, like plastic bags and wrappers?


HI Gayle! Great question. Typically we recommend removing the paper from the carton and recycling separately. We generally find that the paper (made with some recycled paper to begin with) will work in the mixed paper recycling bins. Thanks!

Caren Jill FeinbergOctober 12, 2019

This is awesome! Thank you!


We're so glad to help, Caren! Thanks for your support!

LenaOctober 12, 2019

What a wonderful idea. I only wished I knew this before, cause I buy only Nellies eggs. I will definitely start to save them to send back. Thanks.


That sounds wonderful, Lena! We look forward to taking the cartons back and recycling them again!

Rachel SetolaOctober 12, 2019

I love your clear egg cartons! I'm using them to store Christmas ornaments in - keeps everything neat and tidy and visible!


Great idea, Rachel! Thanks so much for sharing!

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