AF&PA encourages municipal recycling programs to update guidelines to accept corrugated pizza boxes, which are already being recycled at paper mills across the US; 3 billion pizza boxes in US per year would be 600,000 tons of corrugated for recycling

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

July 27, 2023 (press release) –

Are Pizza Boxes Recyclable?

We're aiming to answer a common question that causes a lot of confusion across the United States: Are pizza boxes recyclable? We’re here to set the record straight. 

A study confirmed pizza boxes are recyclable by paper mills. Grease and cheese in an amount typically found on pizza boxes are not an issue for the recycling process. Simply remove leftover pizza and place the box in the recycling bin.

We encourage communities to update their residential recycling programs’ guidelines to explicitly accept pizza boxes that are free of food. 

Pizza Boxes Already Recycled

Pizza boxes are already being recycled at paper mills across the country and the industry wants more of these boxes back to recycle them. About 3 billion pizza boxes are used in the U.S. each year – that’s about 600,000 tons of corrugated that could be collected for recycling. 

By updating local municipal recycling programs’ guidelines to accept corrugated pizza boxes, we’re adding another feedstock to help produce the essential products we rely on – like boxes for shipping food and medicine, as well as toilet paper and paper towels. 

The nearly $7 billion in investments our industry is making in manufacturing infrastructure during 2019 to 2025 will use more than 9 million tons of recycled fiber. That’s enough fiber to fill about 34,000 single family homes.   

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Jason Irving
Jason Irving
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