Are Pizza Boxes Recyclable?

Recycling is one of the best practices when it comes to making our environment healthier and cleaner. One of the things that can be thrown into the recycling carts, without doubt, are cardboard pieces.

Recycling Pizza Boxes

However, are pizza boxes recyclable? Since pizza boxes are not clean and usually contain grease and cheese, the question arises whether they are recyclable or not. Let’s get into details regarding the recycling process of pizza boxes.

Are Pizza Boxes Recyclable?

Yes, pizza boxes are recyclable only if the boxes are empty and not that greasy or wet. However, keep in mind that it is not a necessity that every local recycler will accept these pizza boxes.

Most of the time the recycler doesn’t accept these boxes even if they can be recycled. But at least make sure that you clean the boxes thoroughly before going to a recycler. 

Composition of Pizza Boxes

If you are an eco conscious person like us, you are definitely in the right place. Knowing the composition of a pizza box is essential in order to recycle it. This is particularly because of the fact that knowing the composition will enable you to sort it properly to hand it over to the recycler later on.

All the pizza lovers are well aware of the fact that these boxes can accumulate till the end of the month and throwing them in trash seems to degrade the environment further. Let’s delve deep into their composition to know further. 

Pizza boxes are normally made out of corrugated cardboard, which can be degraded without any significant effort. Although sometimes composting can be done even when these boxes have grease or food stains on them, we advise you not to. Try to clean these boxes because it would be considered ethically wrong otherwise. 

The fast degradation of pizza boxes can be attributed to its main component, which is corrugated cardboard. Apart from this, some pizza boxes may also have additional glossy coatings on them. This is not necessary, but if they do, they must be decomposed separately. This is particularly because of the fact that these coatings have a non-degradable substance which proves to be a bit resistant to decomposition. 

The Complete Guide: Recycling Pizza Boxes

Here’s a step by step guide on how to recycle a pizza box.

  • First of all, begin by checking if the box is entirely clean. Pizza boxes themselves may be degradable but the food and grease on it isn’t. In order to avoid hindrance in the recycling process, ensure that the box is thoroughly clean. 
  • Then, move to remove anything that isn’t made of cardboard in the box. This can be a plastic table (small table present in the center) or other such elements. Plastic cannot be recycled easily so you can just throw it in the trash. 
  • In case your pizza box has any grease on it, tear out that part and throw it in the trash too. 
  • Now, you can contact your local recycler to handover these boxes. Ask for the recycling rules and act accordingly. 
  • After you have done all this, make sure you put these boxes in the recycling bin. 

You can also recycle cans for money.

Can Oily Pizza Boxes be Recycled?

Yes and no. While oily pizza boxes can be recycled, the problem lies in the fact that not all recyclers accept it. So the very first thing that you must be doing in this regard is calling your local recycler. Ask for all the details and then proceed to act accordingly. If they allow minimal grease, then it’s fine. 

All you have to do is to remove all the leftover food pieces to avoid greasing it further. In case they don’t allow such boxes, just tear off the part that has grease on it and leave the rest of the box in the recycling bin. 

Composting Pizza Boxes

Pizza boxes can be composted easily in a commercial setting, if they don’t have grease on it. To be honest, placing pizza boxes in the compost bin is the easiest way to eradicate it.

And if you have a worm compost bin, then this job is not hard at all. These boxes break down very quickly and can also be recycled since they can be made as a filler for compost. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can greasy cardboard be recycled?

No. While some recyclers may accept it, most of them don’t. This is because grease and other such liquids can penetrate into the cardboard, causing hindrance in the decomposition process. That’s why it is advised to clean the cardboard before handing it over to the recycler. 

Are pizza boxes environmentally friendly? 

Yes. Pizza boxes are some of the most environmentally friendly items in the world. This is because they are easily degradable, thanks to their composition. Keep in mind this is as long as these boxes are made out of cardboard solely and no plastic or styrofoam is present. 

Is KFC packaging recyclable in the UK?

Yes, like all other pizza boxes, KFC boxes are recyclable too. The brand has also committed to minimize waste by the year 2035. This indicates that every box, bucket, and other pieces of packaging will be fully recyclable by 2025. 

Recycling Pizza Boxes

Pizza boxes are easily recyclable if they don’t have grease or other leftover food on it. While many recyclers accept boxes with grease on it, others don’t. Try tearing out the greasy part of the box and cleaning the box thoroughly before handing it over to the recycler. 

Also, See if you can Recycle Plastic Bottles.