Can DS Game Boxes Be Recycled?

Soft game boxes are usually made from polypropylene- a type of plastic that’s classified as Type 5. Generally, an outer polyethylene jacket is used on these boxes along with a paper insert for the label. Some die might also be used to color the plastic used for a game box.

Can DS game boxes be recycled? Since they are made of polypropylene, it’s possible to recycle these game boxes (along with their polyethylene jackets. Depending on your municipality/ town laws, you might have to take the cases to a recycling center rated for Type 5 plastics.

If your town laws permit, you can just toss the empty DS game boxes along with the rest of the trash to the roadside. It should be collected through normal channels for recycling. However, some municipalities/ towns have specific laws regarding the disposal of plastic types 3 through 7.

Can DS Game Boxes Be Recycled?

The best way to check whether your DS game box can be recycled is to open it up and look at the triangle symbol inside. Check out this website for more details on plastic types, and the associated numbers. There are 7 types of plastics, numbered based on their commonality and ease of recyclability.

Games cases and DVD cases are made from polypropylene, although some of the old “hard” plastic cases (like the ones used on CDs) might be made from polystyrene. If you want to be sure, check your DS game box for the plastic type number. Then, look up the local laws regarding the disposal of plastic.

You might have to take the cases over to a special recycling facility because the regular ones only deal in types 1 and 2. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t dump your DS game boxes in with the rest of the trash.

Ideally, you want to reuse your old DS game boxes instead of throwing them out. You can prop these up on a bookshelf as a way to show off your game collection. Or you can sell the empty cases to someone who needs them (there are plenty of people looking for spare DS game cases).

What Can I Do With Old DS Boxes?

You can sell these boxes, give them away, or trade them for something you want with another gamer. Collectors are often on the search for extra game boxes, or boxes for specific games.

Tossing these away into a landfill only serves to pollute the environment and creates unnecessary litter. Unless your local recycling facility is rated for Type 5 plastics, you should try to reuse the boxes. If you have the sleeves on these boxes, you can take them out and make high-resolution scans.

People are willing to purchase these scans of original game labels, so they can print replacement labels. If you have a really rare DS game like Pokémon SoulSilver, its scan/ box could net you a nice little bit of cash.

What Should I Do With Old DS Games?

If your game is in pristine condition and it’s rare, you can make a lot of money selling it. Just check out used DS game prices on eBay to get an idea of what your collection is worth. Games with just the cartridge and no box (or accompanying manuals) will be worth less.

Why Did Nintendo Discontinue DS?

The DS is Nintendo’s best-selling console and the 2nd best-selling console of all time behind PS2, with over 154 million units sold. This console died of natural causes, not poor commercial performance. This is to say, it was taken off store shelves so the 3DS could thrive.

DS lasted over 7 years, selling like hotcakes between 2004 and 2011. And its games were also quite popular, more so than best-selling PS3 games even. For example, New Super Mario Bros. sold over 30 million copies on DS while Mario Kart DS sold over 23 million copies.

But by 2011, the hardware had become relatively slow. And people were getting excited about the 3DS. Nintendo did include backward compatibility with 3DS, so it can play old DS games.

Are DS Games Becoming Rare?

It’s extremely easy to find original copies of any DS game on the used market, barring a few. These include games such as Magician’s Quest, Mega Man Star Force 3, Dragon Quest VI, and Shepherd’s Crossing 2. Games that come with original cases and manuals will cost more compared to bare cartridges.

How Long Will DS Games Last?

The flash chip inside a DS game cartridge can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years under average conditions. But it can last even longer if you store it in a location with low moisture, at a temperature of 25°C (or thereabouts). Because those are the optimal conditions to prevent charge leakage from the memory cells of a flash chip.

DS cartridges also have a small bit of EEPROM to save user progress. It’s hard to put an exact number on the lifespan of a DS cartridge. Because many of them work perfectly fine even after 15 years but others died within a decade.

Storage conditions and frequency of usage decide how long a DS game will last. If you have the original game box, it helps shield the cartridge from atmospheric elements like moisture and dirt.


I hope this article helped you understand whether DS game boxes can be recycled, and how to go about it. If your local laws permit you to do so, dump the game boxes in along with the rest of the trash. Otherwise, you might have to take the game boxes to a recycling facility rated for Type 5 plastics.

As a lot of these game boxes aren’t recycled and end up in landfills, I suggest reusing your old DS game boxes instead of tossing them away. Sell them, or give them away to someone who needs them.


As long as I can remember myself I always enjoyed video games. I had amazing moments playing them and that's why I became a game developer, to create amazing experiences for the players. Read More About Me

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