Pizza today is popular as the food most people need. In fact, this dish has been estimated to be sold for about 3 billion pizzas each year in the United States alone. Alright, here is the big question now, can you recycle pizza boxes?
Research has mentioned that approximately £2 billion is shipped in pizza boxes. Well, regret to say that this results in approximately £674,614,000 of waste. The moment you place an order, pizza will be brought into the box. Then, the box will be disposed of after you finish consuming the delicious pizza.
In this context, the main concern right now is how to solve the problem of recycling pizza boxes. There are many questions that have been spreading around about the effectiveness of disposing of these boxes. In this article, we will discuss the answers to those questions with the easiest words.
Can We Really Recycle Pizza Boxes? Let’s Know the Right Answers…
Yes, we can recycle pizza boxes! Pizza boxes are mostly made of paper and cardboard. Accordingly, most packaging companies such as Silver Edge Packaging ensure that these boxes are recyclable.
On the other hand, we know that pizza is a dish that contains fat. Accordingly, some of this fat might contaminate the box inside. If this is the case, then the recycling process can be a bit difficult. To solve this, custom pizza boxes should be recycled only after they are clean.
Otherwise, unfortunately, if the box is contaminated with fat, then you cannot recycle it. Why? Because the pizza fat or oil will make mutual contamination that makes the recycling process to be difficult. To make the box recyclable, you will first need to remove the greased part of the box and then throw it in the trash. Once you have cleaned the box, it will be ready to go into the recycle stream.
To be noted, when a greased pizza box is placed in the recycle bin, the entire baggage will be landfilled. Eventually, this will have a negative impact on the environment and sustainability.
What If There Are Some Leftovers In the Boxes? Can We Recycle Them
You cannot recycle pizza boxes directly if there are still some leftovers in the boxes. In other words, if there are still some leftovers in the box, then you should not recycle the box. In fact, you should throw these leftover foods first in a compost box before considering recycling the box.
What To Do with Frozen Pizza Boxes?
If the boxes are made of mixed material packaging, yes we can recycle them. However, there might be some layers that prevent separation during recycling.
For example, a thin layer of plastic used to wrap frozen pizza boxes will surely make it difficult to recycle the boxes. Therefore, before recycling with other recyclables, you need to make sure your local carrier can accept the boxes. In most cases, these boxes might not be accepted.
Only a few disposal companies might accept these polycoated corrugated board materials for recycling. In that case, you can go for hydropalping, which is the process of separating polyethylene from the fibers of the paper. Then, they will recycle the material separately.
Most frozen pizza boxes are made from poly-coated paperboard, or famous as plastic-coated paperboard. These boxes are made from a thin layer of plastic that has the function to prevent the burning of the freezer in use. This material also helps in preventing moisture leakage and product deterioration.
Is It Possible to Compost Pizza Boxes?
Let’s answer the question from different perspectives!
First of all, yes, composting pizza boxes have been welcomed as an excellent alternative to recycling. The boxes that contain paper napkins and leftovers can easily go directly to your organic trash collection. In fact, many cities now have been incorporating pizza boxes into their organic collection programs.
The second answer will be, regrettably to say, no. It is impossible to compost frozen pizza boxes, especially if the boxes are made of plastic-coated paperboard. As we mentioned above, this is a thin layer of plastic that prevents burning of the freezer in use, moisture leakage, and product deterioration. Thus, you cannot compost these types of boxes.
Meanwhile, paperboard boxes coated with wax can also be composted. Yet, this only applies if the material coating is made of compostable beeswax or soy wax.
Last but not least, do not try to compost frozen pizza boxes. Why? Because plastics cannot biodegrade. Hence, it will never be a good idea to compost a box of frozen pizza that comes with a plastic lining
What about Greasy Pizza Boxes? Can We Compost Them?
There are 2 answers to these questions.
Greasy pizza boxes should not be recycled. In this regard, it would not be such a good idea to reuse the boxes either. On the other hand, composting the boxes will be an acceptable option. What you need to do here is crush the box into smaller pieces, especially greasy cardboard. Then, you need to create a base layer with carbon-based corrugated pieces, then a nitrogen-rich material, and finally, topsoil. After that, you can compost the box regularly. For example, every few days will also improve the decomposition rate.
The second answer is no if you need to compost greasy frozen pizza boxes. These boxes should not be composted. As mentioned earlier, frozen pizza boxes are made of a layer of plastic. This plastic does not help to get the correct results from compost. To sort this out, you should go and talk to your local carrier if they would accept a poly-coated box like the one used for frozen pizza boxes.
What Should You Do As a Pizza Brand?
If you are a pizza brand owner, you are surely aware that you have a corporate social responsibility to make your pizza boxes recyclable. To help in saving the planet, you should use environmentally friendly packaging materials to design the boxes.
Let’s check out some things you should really consider when designing recyclable boxes for your delicious pizzas.
Choose Selected Packaging Materials
What are the packaging materials you can choose to design recyclable pizza boxes?
- Cardboard – Every brand knows that this material has been popular in the world of custom packaging boxes. Cardboard is perfect to make any type of packaging box for almost every product.
- Kraft – The kraft material has been famous as the most eco-friendly packaging material you will find. This material can also be a good option for your pizza boxes.
- Corrugated – This material is perfect if you need to deal with delivering your pizzas to customers. The durability and eco-friendly features make corrugated an ideal option for producing recyclable pizza boxes.
The Accurate Size
The accurately sized boxes will help a lot in minimizing the waste of packaging materials. When you are partnering with an expert company such as Silver Edge Packaging, you will get full customization options for designing your boxes. Yes, you will be free to decide the accurate size for your boxes.
By having the accurate box size not only will you contribute to reducing the packaging waste. What’s more, this effort will also help you to provide a good first impression to those pizza lovers. How? Well, no one likes to get a huge box only to find a small pizza inside.
Encourage Your Beloved Customers to Reuse or Recycle the Pizza Boxes
To give a further contribution, you can eventually encourage your customers to reuse or recycle the boxes. You can simply place a custom label on your pizza boxes mentioning that the boxes can be reused. For example, you can say “Go green! These pizza boxes are recyclable!”
By adding this type of label, you are informing your customers that they can bring the boxes to a recycling plant. Additionally, those customers would also get the idea that they can reuse your cardboard pizza boxes.
Yes, your customers can reuse their pizza boxes for various purposes. What are they?
- A Comfortable Bed for Cats
For those cat lovers, they can save on buying an expensive cat bed by reusing the pizza boxes. All they need to do is fold the boxes and add some comfortable clothes for their cats to sleep in.
- An Art Frame
Art frames can be expensive. On the other hand, some kids will use it once or twice before abandoning them. Your customers can reuse a pizza box as an alternative.
- A Table Soccer
This one will be great fun. All your customers need is a pizza box, green construction paper, white paint, and some other pieces to build a table soccer set.
- A Unique Wall Art
Your customers can take their home decoration into the next level with easy pizza box art. In fact, the end result could be unique, while also being very easy for anyone to do.
So, now you know the answers to “can you recycle pizza boxes.” If you are an individual who wants to contribute to saving the environment, you can do the tips above to recycle the boxes.
Or else, if you are a pizza brand owner who also wants to contribute to saving the planet, you can get recyclable pizza boxes from Silver Edge Packaging!