AFFLINK, A LEADING SALES AND MARKETING ORGANIZATION WITH MORE THAN 300 DISTRIBUTORS NATIONWIDE, AND WESTROCK, A LEADER IN SUSTAINABILITY-FOCUSED PAPER AND PACKAGING MATERIALS, REMIND EVERYONE THAT APRIL 5, 2023, IS NATIONAL DEEP-DISH PIZZA DAY.
Deep-dish pizza was invented by a Chicago pizza restaurant in 1943. It became so popular that it inspired other pizzerias nationwide to begin selling their own brands of deep-dish pizzas. However, many sustainability-focused people today hesitate to have deep-dish pizza delivered to their homes or offices. They question whether the corrugated pizza boxes used to deliver the pizza are recyclable.
“The corrugated boxes have always been recyclable,” says Joshua Robertson, marketing director for AFFLINK. “The concern has been that once the pizza is placed in the box, the grease, cheese, and oils inhibit recycling.”
However, according to Robertson, “that is not the case. These boxes can still be recycled.”
To support his claim, Robertson points to a study conducted by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), a national trade group for the paper and wood products industry, along with WestRock. Their study concluded that:
Not only can pizza boxes be recycled, but the presence of cheese, grease, and oil—at levels typically found on pizza boxes—does not impact the recycling of these boxes. However, some people may still question the recycling of used pizza boxes and used deep-dish pizza boxes in particular.
Below, Robertson addresses those concerns:
Do you need to take pizza boxes to a specific recycling facility?
Recycling centers have their own guidelines, but most recycle used corrugated pizza boxes.
Do I have to do anything before giving the used pizza box to a recycling center?
Remove any leftover food items adhering to the box, liners, or plastic.
After recycling, what happens to the pizza box?
It can be recycled up to seven times before the fibers degrade. This tells us why it is so important to recycle the boxes.
Why is AFFLINK so involved with recycling pizza boxes?
All AFFLINK distributors market paper products. In recent years, we have become very focused on sustainability, the environment, and protecting the health of our planet.
Quick Facts About Pizza Box Recycling
· An estimated three billion boxes equating to 600,000 tons of corrugated pizza boxes are used in the U.S. each year.
· Americans eat about 100 acres of pizza per day or about 350 slices per second, most delivered in pizza boxes.
· Pizza boxes represent 1.7 percent of the 35.9 million tons of corrugated container board produced in the U.S. annually.
· Pizza boxes have an average grease content of approximately 1 – 2 percent by weight level. A grease concentration ten times this amount would make them non-recyclable.
· The average pizzeria uses 55 pizza boxes per day.
· An estimated three billion pizzas are sold each year; about 2 billion are transported in pizza boxes.