Can you recycle greasy pizza boxes? Research says yes

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

Can you recycle greasy pizza boxes? While many would say no, Domino’s says otherwise.

According to the international pizza chain, the main reason so many boxes go unrecycled is that almost 73 per cent of community recycling programs aren’t clear whether they can recycle pizza boxes with other cardboard products. This confusion leads to most used pizza boxes to go to waste.

“There is great inconsistency and confusion regarding the recyclability of pizza boxes. However, pizza boxes are technically recyclable,” said the company. 

“They are made from the same material as a corrugated cardboard box, which has an average recovery rate for recycling of 92 per cent.  However, in the past, some paper mills and others in the recycling industry have expressed concerns about accepting them because of fear of food contamination.”

Domino’s partnered with its primary box supplier, WestRock, to research the recyclability of even the “greasiest and cheesiest” boxes. 

According to the study, larger chunks of cheese or residue should be screened out before processing. Neither grease nor small amounts of food will impact the fibre bonding of the recycled product negatively, concluding that there is no significant reason for recycling facilities to reject post-consumer pizza boxes.

“Our goal is that our customers will set aside any misconceptions they have around the recyclability of pizza boxes, read the facts and put their empty box in the recycling bin or call their municipality and ask them to add pizza boxes to their collection,” said Tim McIntyre, executive VP for communications at Domino’s.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.

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