Can Corelle Dishes Be Recycled? How To Properly Dispose Of Them?

Corelle is known for its elegant and heavy-duty glassware and dishware that dates back to the 1970s. However, the frequently asked question about Corelle is, "can it be recycled?" or "how do you properly dispose of them?"

If you have the same question, continue reading as we provide you with the answer.

Corelle dishes are not suggested to be recycled because, unlike other glassware, it is made up of vitrelle, which is tempered glass consisting of two types of glass that are laminated into three heat-strengthened layers.

This type of glassware cannot easily be recycled as it contains lead and is hard to break.

The best option if you want to dispose of your Corelle dish is to:

  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Use as decoration
  • Upcycle

Corelle dishes, although a staple, can still get shattered or broken, and the pattern might become outdated, but most importantly, the Corelle that you bought might not be safe for you. With this in mind, you might decide to dispose of or recycle them but can't seem to know which one is better.

You're in luck, as we have collected reliable information to help you choose how to properly dispose of your Corelle dishes so they won't go to waste. With that said, let's dive in!

Boxes of displayed Corelle dishes, Can Corelle Dishes Be Recycled? How To Properly Dispose Of Them?

What You Need To Know About Corelle And Why They Can't Be Recycled

During the 1970s, the first ever Corelle dishes were uniquely made up of vitrelle. The latter is a glass composed of laminating the top and bottom layers of the glass to a core center layer.

This creates a dinnerware that is both lightweight but durable and thin but nonporous. It comprises three layers of glass, making it hard to break.

The only concern for using vitrelle before was the lead component because this was mainly used to make television during the 1940s.

Not to mention that the FDA was and still is strict on this matter and gives alerts via its website whenever it notices an import that exceeds the lead requirement.

Broken dishes ready for recycling

With this in mind, it is known that Corelle plates, which date from 1970-1977, contain an exceeding amount of lead that could not pass the FDA regulation.

We have listed down a few Corelle plates that were manufactured during this timeline to give you a few examples:

  • Butterfly Gold, Spring Blossom Green, and Snowflake Blue were manufactured during the 1970s.
  • Old Town Blue was manufactured in 1972.
  • Woodland Brown and Meadow were manufactured in 1977 and 1978, respectively.

In 2005, however, a drastic change was made when Corelle dishes later on complied with the FDA regulation and were eventually approved by the same government agency.

This means that Corelle plates manufactured from 1979 onwards were now safe.

Why Corelle Dishes Can't Be Recycled

By now, you probably have already guessed the main reason why Corelle dishes can't be recycled but let us now elaborate on the different aspects of why it is suggested not to recycle them.

As earlier stated, vitrelle is one of the reasons why Corelle dishes can't be recycled. Another would be the paint used to design vintage Corelle, which contains more than the required lead content set by the FDA.

This especially holds if you notice that the paint in your Corelle is slowly fading.

Another reason for the non-recyclability of Corelle dishes is that they cannot be melted because of the materials used to make them.

It could contaminate the whole recycling process if they were to be recycled along with another dishware such as ceramic.

If you want to know if your Corelle dish contains more lead than the ones required by the FDA, you can consider buying a lead test kit.

Check out this lead test kit at Amazon.

How To Properly Dispose Of Your Corelle Dishes

Now that you already know why some, but not all, Corelle dishes cannot be recycled, why don't we discuss how to dispose of them properly?

Sell Them Either At Auctions Or At Vintage Shops

The first option you should consider is trying to sell them to vintage shops or at an auction. People already know how much of a steal it would be to have a Corelle dish because of its statement in the world of dishware.

You can even try selling it to some of these sites:

  • International Association of Dinnerware Matchers
  • Replacements, Ltd.
  • eBay

Donate Your Corelle Dishware

Another way to dispose of your Corelle dish is to donate or pass them to your relatives. Many online locations accept Corelle dishes as a donation, and it could even be for a good cause.

Use Them To Decorate Your House

If you can't dispose of your Corelle dishes but are concerned about the amount of lead it has, you can always opt to use them as decoration in your kitchen and make them a collectible.

It will not only bring class and elegance to the space but also add color to it.

You can check out this post on "How to decorate your kitchen counter corner [7 Ideas You Will Love!]" to get more ideas.

Upcycling Your Corelle Dishware

Upcycling your Corelle dish into an accessory, sculpture, or other similar items might be one of the most exciting options for you to dispose of it properly and, later on, sell it.

You should only consider not making it into another form of dishware, especially those with high lead content.

We have prepared a list to give you a few examples of upcycling your Corelle dish.

  • Break them into pieces, put them on a frame, and hang them on the wall. This will add more accent to your home.
  • If your Corelle plates are one piece with patterns located only on the corners, try painting them using enamel paint.
  • You can also use it to make creative centerpieces.
  • Glue on some items on the pate to add more accent and eventually decorate it anywhere in your home.

Check out this enamel paint at Amazon.

Corelle Dishes That Are Safe For Dinnerware

We now go to which Corelle dishware already passed the FDA requirement.

To reiterate, Corelle plates manufactured from 1970-the early months of 1978 could not pass the FDA requirement regarding the amount of lead that dishware must contain.

This would only mean that those manufactured in the later years are now safe.

Corelle dishes displayed at a store shelf

Additionally, to ensure you get the most out of this article, we have provided you with a well-sourced list of Corelle dishes deemed safe to use.

Corelle Embossed Bella Faenza

Corelle Embossed is a plain white Corelle, almost the same as the white swirl. It is dishwasher safe, lightweight, and durable because it is made out of Vitrelle glass.

If you have this at home, you should keep it, as this elegant and minimalist Corelle dishware is a keeper.

Check out this Bella Faenza set at Amazon.

Corelle Winter Frost

The Corelle White Frost is the first Corelle dishware that was made without any pattern or embed. This is safe because it does not contain any lead from paints usually used in a regular patterned Corelle.

This can also be called the "Corelle Corning Farmhouse Classic," as stated by Etsy.

View this Winter Frost Corelle at Amazon.

Corelle White Swirl

The Corelle White swirl is another embed pattern manufactured by Corelle and was part of the Corelle enhancement collection in 2016.

This was originally manufactured from 1995 until 2005 but was discontinued in 2016.  This minimalist version of the Corelle Bella Faenza has the same features.

Corelle Splendor Square

The last one on the list is a square Corelle dishware with a gray and red pattern all over the plate. This is lightweight and also durable and made of Vitrelle glass.

Although, it could be like dishware made of ceramic glass from afar. You also do not have to worry about this possible lead content as the FDA approved the same as safe.

See this Corelle Splendor Square at Amazon.

Taking Care Of Your Corelle Collection

To maintain the elegance and integrity of your Corelle dishware, you must consider certain things. This will ensure the chance of using your Corelle to its full potential.

In cleaning your Corelle after usage, you must remove stains or marks using a non-abrasive cleanser.

By doing so, you will avoid scratches to your Corelle and maintain its original color. Otherwise, you can use nylon or plastic rubber.

Boxes of corelle dishes on a store shelf

Additionally, to ensure that rust stains cannot penetrate your Corelle when placed in the rack, ensure that the dishware is dry and free from moisture.

Otherwise, you should consider buying a wooden rack or a new stainless metal rack.

Check out this plate drying rack at Amazon.

Check out this post on "How to remove black marks and stains from Corelle dishes" to know more.

To Finish

Boxes of displayed Corelle dishes

If you have Corelle dishware that you no longer deem functional or safe: the best option for you is to either donate, sell, upcycle, or decorate them as a collectible in your kitchen.

Recycling them is never an option because of their components. You should also make sure to maintain your Corelle properly. After all, they are one luxurious brand.

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