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Let’s Set the Record Straight. Pizza Boxes are Recyclable.

We're aiming to answer a common question that causes a lot of confusion across the United States: Are pizza boxes recyclable? We’re here to set the record straight. 

A recent study confirmed pizza boxes are recyclable. Grease and cheese are not an issue for the recycling process. Simply remove leftover pizza and place the box in the recycling bin.

We encourage communities to update their residential recycling programs’ guidelines to explicitly accept pizza boxes that are free of food. 

Pizza Boxes Already Recycled

Pizza boxes are already being recycled at paper mills across the country and the industry wants more of these boxes back to recycle them. About 3 billion pizza boxes are used in the U.S. each year – that’s about 600,000 tons of corrugated that could be collected for recycling. 

By updating local municipal recycling programs’ guidelines to accept corrugated pizza boxes, we’re adding another feedstock to help produce the essential products we rely on – like boxes for shipping food and medicine, as well as toilet paper and paper towels. 

Our industry's approximately $5 billion dollar investment in U.S. recycling manufacturing capacity is evidence for how important recycling is to the paper and paper-based packaging supply chain.

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 recycle 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