Have you heard? Pizza Boxes are in!

Paper mills across the U.S. have now decided that pizza boxes are fully recyclable! Yes, this means both halves of the box including the side with cheese and grease. Did you know, according to Fibre Box Association, that there are about 3 billion pizza boxes used in the U.S. every year? That equals about 600,000 tons of material that can be recycled rather than wasted!

You’re not alone in thinking that pizza grease or even small cheese residue will cause damage to manufacturing. The Recycling Partnership has even noted that around 73% of municipalities do not have clear guidelines on recycling pizza boxes. But, new studies have found that the grease and cheese on the box (when in small quantities) will not cause any damage to machinery. AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock says, “corrugated (brown) pizza boxes are successfully recycled every day at paper mills throughout the country… so let’s be clear: consumers should not be concerned about grease or cheese – simply remove any leftover pizza and place the box in the recycle bin”. 

The recent call for consumers to recycle pizza boxes is due to COVID-19. This is because shipping and packaging needs have gone up so dramatically since the start of the pandemic. Pizza boxes can be broken down and turned into new cardboard which can be repurposed into shipping boxes.

So, next time you have pizza night, make sure to dump the leftovers and place your entire pizza box in your recycling bin!