Don’t Trash the Box: Your Pizza Box is Recyclable

Published: July 29, 2020
Pizza Box Recycling
Are pizza boxes recyclable? Absolutely! A Domino’s pizza box is shown here at a Louisville material recovery facility (MRF), which is operated by WestRock. An MRF is a plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials for end-use manufacturers.

Contrary to popular belief, pizza boxes are recyclable, even if they have some grease on them. To reduce confusion and encourage Americans to recycle their pizza boxes, Domino’s has teamed up with its box suppliers and other key players in the paper and recycling industry.

Nearly everything that leaves a Domino’s store leaves in a corrugated box. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the recyclability of pizza boxes. Domino’s and its primary box supplier, WestRock, launched to deliver the facts about pizza box recycling to consumers.

The No. 1 misconception about pizza box recycling is that the grease causes contamination ruining the valuable fibers. In reality, pizzas – with grease! – are recycled successfully every day. To prove grease is not an issue, WestRock conducted a research study that evaluated the impact of typical amounts of grease and residual cheese. The study, which was reviewed and endorsed by member companies of the American Forest & Paper Association, concluded grease and residual cheese do not impact the quality of the recycled fibers.

The website is a hub of information on pizza box recycling, including instructions on how to recycle pizza boxes, and a guide for what to do if a customer’s community does not accept pizza boxes for recycling.

A total of 73% of the U.S. population is estimated to have recycling programs available for pizza boxes, according to a Resource Recycling Systems access study commissioned by WestRock in the fall of 2019. While 27% of the population is served by programs with explicit acceptance of pizza boxes, 46% of the population has access to programs that imply, but don’t say specifically, that they accept pizza boxes. The remainder are either unclear or say they cannot take pizza boxes.

Domino’s goal? To convert programs to explicitly accept pizza boxes. To do this, Domino’s, WestRock and a second box supplier, Pratt, helped fund a toolkit created by The Recycling Partnership. The Recycling Partnership – of which Domino’s, WestRock and Pratt are members – is a nonprofit dedicated to improving accessibility to and quality of recycling. The organization is committed to helping divert pizza boxes from landfills and into the recycling stream. Consumers can find a link to The Recycling Partnership’s toolkit on, which they can send to their local recycling programs to encourage them to explicitly accept pizza boxes into their system.

In early 2020, Domino’s worked with WestRock to increase the recycled content in its pizza boxes from 40% to 72%. Domino’s recognizes the importance of not just recycling and using recycled content, but also the importance of planting trees. Because of this, Domino’s is partnering with One Tree Planted to plant 50,000 trees in North America. Stay tuned for more updates!

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