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Domino’s Finally Settles Argument of Whether or Not You Can Recycle Pizza Boxes

Domino’s are now delivering their pizzas in boxes on which are printed specific recycling instructions for the customer’s area.

Believe it or not, literally billions of corrugated cardboard pizza boxes have gone unrecycled because both consumers and recycling companies believed that the leftover grease, sauce, and cheese might gum up the recycling machinery, or weaken the bonds of the recycled paper material.

So great was the confusion that the company that makes Domino’s pizza boxes, West Rock, commissioned a study to see if boxes made up of 20% pizza grease by weight would somehow harm the recycling process.

No difference in machine function or chemical bondage of recycling paper material was observed, despite the fact that they used an unrealistically greasy box—even the greasiest pizzas can only manage to alter 2% of total box weight.

With that cleared up, Domino’s is now printing everything someone needs to know to recycle their pizza box right onto the box, including tidbits like “Grease DOES NOT Impact the Recyclability!” and “70% of Americans have access to pizza box recycling.”

For those that don’t have curbside pickup paper recycling, a QR code on the box will direct the consumer to infrastructure nearest to them that will take the pizza boxes.

“Arming our consumers with this knowledge and encouraging them to be part of our stewardship journey also makes them feel good about enjoying their pizza,” Fredric Lund, SVP of global development and sustainability at Domino’s, told Fast Company.

Going the extra mile, Domino’s recycling website includes details on how to get in contact with recycling facilities to ask whether or not they accept boxes, as only 27% of companies in the U.S. explicitly mention they accept pizza boxes. Many more take them all the same, but don’t say it out loud.

It’s a great example of a company going way out of their lane to help ensure sustainability of their product, which is already made from recycled material.