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Here’s How to Recycle Your Cardboard Boxes

Question: Is this cardboard box recyclable?

Answer: YES, cardboard is built to be recycled. In fact, cardboard packaging can be recycled 5 to 7 times! 

Recycle Cardboard Boxes Right

Here’s how to do it right:

  1. First, empty your box to remove packing materials, such as Styrofoam or packing peanuts
  2. Flatten your cardboard box to save space 
  3. Put it in the recycling bin

Now, wasn’t that easy? Pro tip: Ensure your box is dry and clean. Even if it gets wet, it can still be recycled once dried

Cardboard Recycling Tips

A few additional things to keep in mind when recycling cardboard:

  • Dented, ripped and damaged cardboard can still be recycled
  • You do not have to remove tape or labels – the recycling process will remove these for you
  • Milk, juice, and cereal boxes can all be recycled, if clean

Always check your local guidelines for how they want your boxes.

Want to learn more about recycling? See all of our Recycling Q&As.

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recyclable resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative —Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $350 billion in products annually and employs about 925,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of about $65 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 43 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper