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.
WestRock is on a mission to clear the confusion about whether corrugated pizza boxes can be recycled, or not.
YES, THEY CAN!
Typical amounts of residual cheese and grease do not affect the box’s recyclability – simply empty and breakdown the box and recycle.
We proved this by conducting a grease & cheese study – endorsed by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) – and we commissioned a study to evaluate consumer recycling access in communities across the continental United States.
Partner With Us
Recycling corrugated pizza boxes undoubtedly supports the circular economy at the local, state and national levels. We’re making progress, but there’s still work to do. WestRock is partnering with our customers to help encourage consumers to recycle pizza boxes and prove once and for all that it can be done.
WestRock and Domino’s® partnered to print recycling messaging on their pizza boxes in August of this year, reaching hundreds of thousands of consumers every day! By reinforcing the facts and directing consumers to recycling.dominos.com via a QR code, the boxes are a key step in achieving the vision of properly informing consumers about pizza box acceptance guidelines in their community’s recycling programs.
In addition to the information available at recycling.dominos.com, Domino’s® continues to advocate for pizza box recycling through customer outreach, social media amplification, and presentations to industry coalitions like the American Pizza Community (APC). Domino’s® is dedicated to not only supporting the circular economy through responsible packaging, but also by encouraging consumers to recycle.
By partnering with WestRock to provide a scannable code on your branded pizza box, you can link consumers directly to your own branded Scan. Learn. Recycler. Portal where they can access their local pizza box recycling guidelines.
Pizza boxes are made of high-quality corrugated paper, which can be recycled at least seven times. -American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)
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 misconceptions around pizza box recycling due to the presence of residual grease and cheese in the box, WestRock conducted a study using material from one of our single-stream material recovery facilities. The AF&PA validated our findings, which concluded that typical amounts of residual grease and cheese don’t impact the quality of the recycled fiber. So, remember, the next time you get pizza, don’t trash the box! Remove any food from inside and put it in the recycling bin instead.