Are pizza boxes recyclable?

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It’s a common misconception, but many people don’t know that pizza boxes are recyclable. WestRock is partnering with our customers to help encourage consumers to recycle pizza boxes and prove just how easy it is.

Recycling corrugated pizza boxes could make a big impact on recycling at the local, state and national levels. We’re making progress, but there’s still work to do. Here are some stats on pizza box recycling:

Recycling Facts

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In the U.S., people consume an estimated three billion pizzas a year. That’s a potential of 600,000 tons of corrugated board that could be recovered and reused.

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Pizza boxes are made of high-quality corrugated paper, which can be recycled at least seven times. -American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)

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Pizza boxes are recyclable, however, approximately 73 percent of the programs do not have clear acceptance guidelines for pizza box recycling. -RRS Access Study

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AF&PA member companies representing 94 percent of the total annual U.S. old corrugated containers (OCC) consumption accept pizza boxes. -AF&PA

Debunking the Myth

Debunking the myth about pizza box recycling

To combat the misconception that corrugated pizza boxes aren’t recyclable due to residual grease and cheese in the box, our Research & Development (R&D) team conducted a study using material from one of our single stream material recovery facilities (MRFs). The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) validated our findings, which concluded that typical amounts of residual grease and cheese doesn’t impact the quality of the recycled fiber. Remember, the next time you get pizza, don’t trash the box! Remove any food from the box and put it in the recycling bin instead.

View Grease And Cheese Study
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