how to recycle pizza boxes

How to Recycle Pizza Boxes?

The pizza box is one of the world's most popular food packing materials. Although made of paper, are pizza boxes recyclable or compostable? Find out in this article.

What are pizza boxes?

Pizza boxes, also known as pizza packages, are folding paper boxes used to keep pizza warm while shipping it to consumers or to pack frozen pizza items in supermarkets.

Types of pizza boxes

Pizza boxes are available in two shapes: 

  • Pizza boxes: for a complete pizza. This sort of box is suitable for home delivery and takeaway for groups of people.
  • Pizza slices box (also known as corners or triangles): for a slice of pizza. This style of box is ideal for individual serving, pastries, or huge parties.

Materials and Features

The most often used material is corrugated cardboard, also known as containerboard, corrugated fiberboard, or combination board in the paper industry. The cardboard can help to eliminate the problem of grease leakage. Because of its structure, it is also lightweight and durable. The material is available in layers known as walls. Two thin sheets of paper board were pasted to either side of a corrugated inner sheet with noodle-like curves on one wall.

Pizza boxes come in a variety of sizes. Here are some of the most frequent pizza box sizes to consider: 

  • Small size: 8-10 inches. These boxes are great for personal-seized pizza take-out orders. 
  • Medium size: 12-14 inches.
  • Large size: 16-18 inches. This pizza box is commonly used for family-sized pizza.
  • Extra-large: up to 24 inches. This size is perfect for big events or parties.

Pizza boxes can be customized to meet the wants and requirements of your business. The table below shows how different pizza box sizes from popular brands:


Pizza Hut


Papa John


8 inches

10 inches

10 inches


12 inches

12 inches

12 inches


14 inches

14 inches

14 inches


16 inches

16 inches


Keep in mind that depending on the business, pizza sizes may vary by region, occasion, and season.

Pizza boxes can be printed or unprinted, depending on the strategy and target audience of the appropriate restaurant. In recent years, printed boxes have grown more popular for conveying brand messaging and improving company image to customers.

recycle pizza boxes

Can you recycle pizza boxes?

Pizza boxes, like other paper products, are recyclable.

In the past, pizza boxes were not suggested for recycling in Canada since there was a lot of grease and leftovers such as cheese and crusts. However, at the moment, pizza boxes are recyclable if there is no leftover food or plastic, such as a pizza saver, within the pizza box.

Recycling pizza boxes has many benefits, such as:

  • Recycling pizza boxes extends the life of paper items. According to studies, paper may be recycled up to seven times, while corrugated boxes can be recycled up to ten times. Therefore, after recycling, the pizza box may produce items, and types, and provide different purposes. 
  • Recycling pizza boxes, like recycling other paper items, helps to reduce waste, reduce fuel use, and minimize pollutants to the environment.

How to recycle pizza boxes?

Pizza boxes are recyclable, but be careful because pizza is a greasy food. To recycle pizza boxes, keep the following in mind:

  • Remove any leftovers and plastic from pizza boxes.
  • Place the entire pizza box in the green trash with the recycle symbol, or cut it into little pieces.
  • For heavily oiled components of the box, cut them apart and divide them with a blue trash bin, a compostable trash bin, and a biodegradable garbage bin.

After being sorted into recycling and pickup containers, pizza boxes go through the following procedures before beginning a new life cycle:

  • Cleaning: To clean non-paper materials, pizza boxes will be run through a pulper, which is similar to a large washing machine.
  • Forming: To make paper or board, paper fibers are pumped onto a fast-moving screen.
  • Removing moisture to be wrapped onto large rolls or cut into sheets.
  • Producing a new paper-based product.
Can pizza boxes be compostable

Can pizza boxes be compostable?

Pizza boxes are 100% compostable. Pizza boxes are compostable due to their material and can be composted in both commercial and home composting systems. When done correctly and in perfect condition, pizza cardboard boxes can degrade in as little as 90 days.

Shred pizza boxes to compost them faster and more efficiently. Then, using your carbon-based cardboard pieces, you'll build a base layer, followed by nitrogen-rich materials, and eventually topsoil. Following that, you will turn your compost pile regularly, such as every few days, to improve the rate of breakdown.

Composting is also an excellent choice in Canada for remote areas such as Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, which are hundreds of kilometers from a recycling center.

Finally, pizza boxes of all shapes and sizes are both recyclable and compostable. Choose the appropriate form of waste reduction, whether recycling or commercial or home composting.

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