The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) just 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.”
In a recent membership-wide survey, AF&PA members representing 93.6 percent of the total amount of Old Corrugated Containers consumed by member companies, said they accept corrugated pizza boxes for recycling.
Various industry partners are joining AF&PA in the call for consumers to recycle their pizza boxes, including the Fibre Box Association, AICC and TAPPI.
For more information about the recyclability of pizza boxes, including AF&PA’s Pizza Box Recycling Statement, visit PaperRecycles.org.