Paper Industry Sets Record Straight – Pizza Boxes Are Recyclable, Grease is OK

Waste Advantage, July 14, 2020

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has released new industry guidance that aims to clear up consumer confusion regarding the recyclability of pizza boxes. The guidance resulted from a study conducted by WestRock – an AF&PA member company – that found the presence of grease and cheese at levels typically found on pizza boxes does not impact manufacturing in a negative way.

“Corrugated pizza boxes are successfully recycled every day at paper mills throughout the country, yet consumers remain confused by mixed messages suggesting that some boxes should not be put in the recycle bin,” said AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “So, let’s be clear: pizza boxes are recyclable. Consumers should not be concerned about grease or cheese – simply remove any leftover pizza and place the box in the recycle bin. We encourage communities to update their residential recycling programs guidelines to explicitly accept pizza boxes that are free of food.”

“When speaking at recycling conferences, the question I’m asked most often is: ‘Are pizza boxes recyclable,’” said Dennis Colley, President and CEO of the Fibre Box Association. “This guidance from AF&PA should give municipalities, recycling centers and households the information they need to confidently recycle pizza boxes.” More

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