Are Board Games recyclable?

The first thing I asked myself before buying a few board games was, “Are board games recyclable?”. The Good news is that they are. But recycling board games are not as easy as you think. You cannot just dump them in the recycling bin as they are made up of many different components.

I have a habit of buying new board games whenever I come across them, the reason being that it keeps my children occupied for hours on end. Generally, I don’t approve of them playing video games or encouraging a lot of screen time, so I try to make up for it by buying the latest board games in the market. It works. They don’t feel bored with many board game options, and they also have a very good time.


One of the problems with board games is that it consumes a lot of space, not to mention the tiny bits and pieces that keep turning up all around the house. After some time, most board games lose their replay value, and you don’t feel entertained playing the same thing over and over again. But you can’t just chuck them in the bin. Because it’s not the ethical thing to do. This got me wondering whether board games are recyclable. Let me discuss what I learned.

are board games recyclable

Are board games recyclable? Which parts of them?

Not all parts of a board game can be recycled. They consist of so many bits and pieces of different materials that must be carefully separated first. Those tiny metal miniatures can be collected separately and recycled for metal. (Though truth be told, I found them too cute to be put away. They ended up in my treasure box) The endless stacks of cards and paper can be sorted and recycled easily. But the plastic bits are the saddest part. I just didn’t know what to do with them.

But before we get to dismantling a board game and sorting its contents, there are many other options you can consider. Here are some of them

1. Return the board games to the manufacturers

Board game companies like Mattel, Hasbro, Ravensburger, and Asmodee Editions have collection centers for their board games. They are more efficient at recycling them as they know exactly what went into them and hence can decide what to do with them. They will use the old games to manufacture new ones. You may not always get paid for it, but rest assured your reward comes in helping the environment and saving the planet for future generations!

2. You can donate or give them away.

Board games are pretty expensive, and most orphanages and elders’ homes may not be able to afford them. And who doesn’t like a board game? By giving them away, the games will get a new lease of life. Just think about how many people would enjoy playing them just as much as you did.

3. You can sell them

Yes, since board games are expensive, there is high demand for second-hand board games. And depending on the game, it can sell for a high price too. There are many platforms, both local and online, where you can put up your used board games for sale. Please read this article for a list of places where you can sell used board games online.

4. You can use them for DIY

This is my favorite part. One good thing about board games is that some miniatures and pieces can be used as tokens and pawns for other game boards. Or you can make some interesting toys out of the miniatures. The strong board can be used for photo albums, journals, frames and whatnot. You can also use the tiles from games like scrabble and dominoes to make clocks, build toy houses and anything you can come up with. If you are stuck for ideas, just browse the internet for some incredible ideas.

You can also use them to DIY other board games!

5. And lastly, dismantle, recycle and dispose of them in an eco-friendly manner.

Sometimes, you may not be able to sell the game or donate it because it’s just too old and worn out. Some vital parts of it may be missing, and you can do nothing but dump them. But stop. Don’t chuck them in the bin. As I discussed earlier, it’s best to sort them out first. Paper and cardboard should be recycled separately, just like the metal and plastic pieces. You can ask your local recycling center for the best place to recycle them. But most often, the plastic cannot be recycled.

So are board games recyclable? A big Yes!

Board games are recyclable, and it’s crucial that you do so to help save the environment. You can sell the board games, donate them or give them back to the manufacturers. If it’s not possible, do not just dump them in the bin. Separate the different pieces, so they can be recycled separately, and some parts of them can be saved for some beautiful DIY craft ideas!
*All pics are taken from


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