Skip to main content

Are pizza boxes recyclable? The paper industry answers

Let’s admit it, sometimes you don’t want to cook at home and turn to your favorite delivery, or pick-up, dinner option—pizza.

While it’s a toss-up if pineapple and anchovies belong on pizza, there’s no arguing that pizza boxes are successfully recycled every day at paper mills.

The next time someone asks, “Do you know if pizza boxes are recyclable?” your answer should be: Yes, but check local rules in your area!

Here’s why...

recent study confirmed that pizza boxes are recyclable at paper mills, and that grease and cheese are not an issue for the recycling process.

Cardboard pizza boxes are successfully recycled every day at paper mills throughout the country. In a recent membership-wide survey, AF&PA members said they accept cardboard pizza boxes for recycling.

Our industry wants more of these boxes back to recycle. About 3 billion pizza boxes are used in the U.S. each year – that’s about 600,000 tons of cardboard that could be collected for recycling. AF&PA encourages communities to update their residential recycling programs to accept cardboard pizza boxes for recycling.

AF&PA members continue to invest in manufacturing infrastructure that will allow them to recycle even more paper-based products in the years ahead. 

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