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According to the “2020 World’s Most Valuable Restaurant Brands” list released by Brand Finance, Domino’s Pizza ranks fifth, it has more than 17,000 stores worldwide. Domino’s Pizza has more than 17,200 restaurants in 90 countries and regions around the world, selling more than 3 million pizzas per day. The popularity of pizza is comforting, but from an environmental point of view, Can a large number of pizza boxes be recycled? Besides, China, the largest importer of waste from the United States, stopped collecting most recyclable waste in January 2018. The reason is the high contamination rate of recyclable materials in the United States, which gives us more thoughts on recyclable materials.

As we all know, most pizzas are packed in cardboard. Cardboard is usually recycled to conserve resources. But pizza boxes are often stained with grease after they’ve been filled. Many people, including pizza shop owners and employees, believe that used pizza boxes cannot be recycled. Tens of thousands of cartons are burned instead of being thrown into recycling bins. Obviously, the high sales of pizza and the low recycling rate of pizza boxes result in a huge waste of pizza cardboard around the world.

Can pizza boxes be recycled?

For years, Pizza boxes are considered unrecyclable, because greasy cardboard and cheese scraps make it impossible to reuse. Ultimately, tens of billions of pizza boxes were sent to landfills and incinerators. However, According to a novel study from WestRock which is one of the world’s largest paper and packaging companies, “We proved that the grease and cheese residuals, at the levels that are typically found in a pizza box, can make it through the recycling stream with no issue, and there are no issues with the paper after we recycle the boxes.” Jeff Chalovich, WestRock’s chief commercial officer and president of corrugated packaging, said in the research. In addition, The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) validated the findings of WestRock, which concluded that typical amounts of residual grease and cheese don’t impact the quality of the recycled fiber, and issued new industry guidance: pizza boxes are recyclable. In brief, after enjoying a delicious pizza, we can put the pizza boxes in the blue bin instead of schlepping boxes to the dumpster. Recycled pizza boxes can be turned into recycled paper, household appliances, and boxes for e-commerce company Amazon’s delivery packages.

Pizza boxes can be recyclable, but there’s a couple things to know before tossing one in the blue bin.

Know Your City’s Recycling Requirements

Each municipality has a different garbage collection policy, You’ll first need to look up your city’s recycling requirements. You can find this information from the city’s official government website or local garbage collection company. For instance, in Huntsville, Pizza boxes cannot be recycled. But, pizza boxes are recyclable in New York City, as long as you remove soiled liner and plastic supporter

Check your pizza box

The Major issue affecting the recycling of pizza boxes is greasy. This grease can soak into the paper fibers and contaminate the whole box. Furthermore, Recycled cardboard does not undergo thermal processing. Once the cardboard is sorted and graded, it’s sent to storage in a paper mill. As a result, the grease on the pizza box will remain, which will become dirty and may attract insects and animals to cause secondary pollution. So, the best way to deal with the pizza box is to remove the cheese chips and use scissors to cut off the parts contaminated with grease.

In addition to recycling pizza boxes, the original solution to waste resources is to eat in the restaurant or make pizzas at home. Homemade pizza is a fun and easy way to have your favorite meal at home. Of course, if you’re a hands-on person, You can turn a pizza box into a laptop rack or other useful things

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