Can Jam Jar Lids Be Recycled? – Introduction 

Can Jam Jar Lids Be Recycled?

So you’ve just finished that jar of strawberry jam, and now you’re left wondering what to do with the lid. Can it go in the recycling bin along with the glass jar? Or is it destined for the trash? We’ve all been there, staring at that leftover lid and hoping we can recycle it but not knowing for sure. Most jam jar lids can indeed be recycled, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Before you toss that lid, read on to learn exactly how and where you can recycle it to keep it out of the landfill. We’ll give you the details on what kinds of lids are accepted and the best ways to recycle them properly.

You CAN reuse lids from store bought jars for CANNING your food! _ Tomato Jam Water Bath and Recipe! :

Why Jam Jar Lids Aren’t Always Recyclable

The hard truth is jam jar lids often can’t be recycled. While the jars are usually fine to toss in your recycling bin, the lids pose some issues.

First, the size and shape of lids mean they can jam up sorting equipment at recycling facilities. The small, round lids easily get stuck in the machinery, causing damage and halting the recycling process.

Some places ask that you leave the lids on the jars to avoid this. But even then, the lids may still need to be separated from the glass, using up time and resources.

Second, many lids are made of a combination of fused materials, like a metal ring and a plastic seal or liner. These mixed materials are difficult to separate and recycle.

The items must be sorted properly by material type before being recycled into new products. Since jam jar lids contain multiple fused materials, they’re often not worth the effort to recycle and end up in landfills.

Finally, the small size of jam jar lids means they yield little recycled material. Recycling centers aim to recycle materials that will provide the most benefit. Unfortunately, little jam jar lids don’t cut.

While it may seem wasteful, putting jam jar lids in your regular trash is often the better option. However, some brands like Bonne Maman now offer 100% recyclable jam jar lids – check if yours does too! And, of course, reusing your lids when possible is the most environmentally-friendly choice.

Look for ‘Widely Recyclable’ on the Lid

When choosing jam jar lids for recycling, look for the words’ widely recyclable’ stamped on the lid. This means the lid is made of materials that most curbside recycling programs and centers accept.

The most common recyclable lid materials are:

Steel – Steel lids are magnetic, non-corrosive and can be recycled endlessly into new steel products.

Aluminum – Aluminum lids are lightweight, non-magnetic and corrosion-resistant. Aluminum recycling uses only 5% of the energy required to produce new aluminum from raw bauxite ore.

Polypropylene (PP) Plastic – PP is a highly recyclable plastic used to make yogurt, reusable food, and jam jar lids. Check the lid for the number ‘5’ inside the recycling triangle, which indicates polypropylene.

Not all lids can be recycled, however. Lids made of polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics and composites containing paperboard and plastics together are typically not recyclable.

It’s best to check with your local waste and recycling department to confirm which lids they accept.

When recycling steel, aluminum or polypropylene lids, thoroughly rinse them to remove any remaining jam residue. Place loose lids directly into your recycling cart—do not bag them. Lids should be recycled with the matching container when possible, as recycling centers may have an easier time properly sorting and reprocessing them.

Choosing products with sustainable and recyclable packaging is an easy way for consumers to help close the recycling loop. The more people recycle, the more raw materials are diverted from landfills and the less energy is needed to produce new products.

So do your part—recycle those jam jar lids!

Contact Your Local Waste and Recycling Authority

Contacting your local waste and recycling authority is the best way to get a definitive answer for your area. Call them or email them to inquire about jam jar lid recycling in your city or county. They will know exactly what materials and items they accept at your curbside pickup or local drop-off centers.

Some questions you’ll want to ask:

Do you accept jam jar lids for recycling? What about other metal lids like a soup can lids?

Should lids be rinsed clean before recycling? Do they need to be separated from the glass jars?

Are there any preparations needed, like removing the rubber seal ring?

Where exactly should lids be placed for pickup – in the bin with cans, glass or alone?

Every municipality has its own rules based on the facilities and processes available. Your area currently does not have the means to sort and recycle certain small metal items properly.

But as more advanced sorting technology becomes available, more and more locations can accept a wider range of recyclables.

Check with neighboring towns as well if you live in a smaller community. Some have partnerships to share recycling services so that you can take your clean lids to a drop-off center in a nearby city or county. Your diligence in properly preparing and transporting the lids will help ensure as many as possible get recycled and not discarded as trash.

Though it can require some effort, recycling jam jar lids and other small metal pieces are worth it to keep them out of landfills. Doing your part for the environment and reducing waste adds up when communities work together.

Make that call or send an email – you’ll get the right information straight from the source and feel good knowing exactly how your lids can be responsibly recycled. Every bit helps create a greener future!

Alternative Uses for Non-Recyclable Jam Jar Lids

Don’t throw away the lid once you’ve recycled your jam jar glass! Those little metal caps can be reused in all sorts of ways. Here are a few alternative uses for non-recyclable jam jar lids.

Organize your desk

Use jam jar lids to keep small items in place on your desk, like paper clips, tacks, rubber bands, and batteries. Label each lid to keep everything neat.

Arts and crafts

Jam jar lids make perfect little paint palettes for kids. Fill a few lids with different colored paints or use them to hold beads, buttons, sequins or small pom poms for craft projects.

In the kitchen

There are many handy ways to use jam jar lids in the kitchen. Use them as trivets to protect counters from hot pans or as coasters for drinks. Label a few lids to use as measuring spoons for spices and baking ingredients. Or cover one in foil or plastic wrap to use as a splatter guard when frying foods.

In the garden

If you do any container gardening, jam jar lids make great drip trays under small pots to catch excess water. You can also use them to cover seedlings and protect them from harsh weather. Label your lids with the name of the plant or seeds to easily keep track of what’s growing.

DIY bird feeder or bath

A jam jar lid can be turned into a bird feeder or small bird bath with a few simple modifications. Create a bird feeder by punching a few holes in the lid to thread string through, then fill the lid with bird seed. Attach the lid to a saucer or plate for a bath and fill with a few inches of water.

The possibilities are endless for reusing jam jar lids. Before tossing them in the recycling, consider an alternative use for them around your home, garden, or workspace. Your jam jar lids can have a second life and help reduce waste.

Can Jam Jar Lids Be Recycled?


So there you have it, folks. Jam jar lids are recyclable in some areas, but not all. It depends on your local recycling program and what types of plastics they accept. You can check with your city or county website to see if #5 plastics are on your curbside pickup or local drop-off center list.

If so, rinse those lids and toss them in the bin. If not, you may need to take them to a nearby retail store that offers plastic recycling.

While it can be frustrating to find out certain items aren’t always recycled, the good news is there are still steps we can all take to reduce waste. Reusing jam jars for food storage or other purposes is a great option. And choosing products with less packaging in the first place is ideal.

Every little bit helps with sustainability, so do what you can and avoid getting too discouraged. The small changes we all make can add up to a big difference.

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