Many of the containers to be served are similar to plastic bottles, but they are often combined with food. If dirty, the polystyrene recycling plant may just send it to the landfill.
Even more puzzling is whether your ability to recycle any particular plastic (or any plastic) will depend entirely on your local government's recycling program.
Many cities have only a small plastic relief items 1, 2 and 6 recycled plastic, or other combinations of these figures. These figures roughly correspond to the type of resin used in the plastic itself. (Even in these categories, there is a big change.)
Most of the upcoming food containers - especially transparent clamshells - are made of plastic No. 1, just like a soda bottle. These are easy to recycle, and most municipalities will clean it after removing any stickers completely.
When containers move from your street to plants, any food on them stimulates bacterial growth. The container can be sterilized, but this adds time and effort to the process. Many factories prefer to just pick up the dirtiest plastic instead of wasting resources for thorough cleaning.
Cardboard pizza boxes and paper Chinese takeaway containers are not well flushed, so you have to tearing up the container to separate the contaminated raw parts (and then recycling the latter).
It was very difficult for New York City to try to ban the recycling in 2013, but the industry failed after two years after the industry won a lawsuit.
Most places will not pick up styrofoam, which is called plastic number 6, with your regular ps foam containers recycling. But depending on where you live, there may be a relinquishment facility.