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Are Cardboard Pizza Boxes Compostable? Between Recycling and Composting

Are Cardboard Pizza Boxes Compostable? Between Recycling and Composting

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Who would ever resist tasty pizzas? Without any doubt, pizza is still one of the most popular dishes loved by people from many countries worldwide. But have you ever thought about the impact of the boxes you used to pack and deliver your delicious pizzas? Are cardboard pizza boxes compostable? Which one will be best for your customers to recycle or compost the boxes? Let’s find out!

The Importance of Custom Pizza Boxes for Brands

As a pizza brand, you know that your custom pizza boxes are arguably as important as your delightful pizzas. In fact, we can say that these custom boxes play a big role in effectively protecting your delicate pizzas. The selected packaging materials used to make the boxes can expose the pizza to heat and moisture. For example, the cardboard will keep your pizzas warm and retain their original texture. Corrugated cardboard is a popular resource and has a strong market demand for pizza boxes.

Can Customers Recycle Pizza Boxes?

Today’s modern customers are demonstrating their greater awareness of environmental protection. This factor makes these customers love to get recyclable and environmentally friendly items. In this case, recyclable pizza boxes are ideal for convincing these customers. The packaging materials such as cardboard that is used to make the boxes are recyclable and will make them environmentally friendly. 

Thus, those customers can easily send their boxes to any recycling facility and minimize the packaging waste. On the other hand, these boxes will help you to build a solid and reliable brand image. 

Which Is Better, Composting or Recycling the Boxes?

Sending the boxes to a recycling plant might cost energy and resources. As an environmentally conscious customer, instead of throwing the cardboard pizza box into the trash bin, you can:

  • Send the box directly to the MRF (Materials Recovery Facility)
  • Pack it separately from other recyclable items
  • Send it to the manufacturer

Manufacturers will process the box to make new boxes and other recycled products. An important thing to note here is that recycling a ton of cardboard will let you save 46 gallons of oil. However, this is only part of the energy required to make a box from 100% unused material.

So, of course, if you have a clean and dry cardboard pizza box, reusing it is (if possible) the most environmentally friendly solution. However, it is worth recycling if the box has no use, or perhaps it is worn out and cannot be reused.

Also Read : Tips to Put Cardboard Pizza Box in the Oven

How to Prepare Cardboard for Recycling?

Before you send the pizza box for recycling, there are some things you would need to do. What are they?

  • Remember to remove packing peanuts or other non-paperboard materials from the box
  • You can leave the tape and label as they are
  • Make sure the box stays dry!

How About Composting Cardboard Pizza Boxes?

Indeed, recycling will save resources compared to the production of recycled cardboard. On the other hand, the recycling process will also use its own resources. So, what if we stopped recycling and started composting the box instead? But are cardboard pizza boxes compostable? Yes, they are!

In case you are not familiar, a good pile of compost is based on a balanced mix of green and brown waste. Green waste, which is rich in nitrogen, is composed of fruit peels and vegetable waste. Meanwhile, the brown waste, which is rich in carbon, is composed of leaves.

Cardboard products (especially unbleached ones) are included in the brown waste columns. Cardboard pizza boxes are welcome to be added to the compost box to prevent mold, odor, or sliminess. Instead of recycling the boxes, composting can eliminate the resources needed to shred and return to fresh material.

What’s more, you will not need any recycle bins, machines, slurries, or chemical agents to transport to recycling facilities.

Using cardboard for compost is a rewarding experience to make the most of the space-occupying boxes. There are many types of cardboard to compost, so it is essential to know what you are dealing with before learning how to compost the boxes.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, cardboard waste accounts for more than 31 percent of landfills. This is where cardboard composting is a practice that ends up being more popular as people begin to understand the benefits of composting. Compost boxes are great if you are just moving or cleaning the attic. 

What Are the Types of Cardboard for Composting?

Composting cardboard pizza boxes, especially large boxes, and single cardstock, are not tricky. On the other hand, you will need the compost pile to be properly constructed and maintained. There are generally some types of cardboard that are perfect for composting. These include:

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Flat cardboard
  • Wax-coated cardboard

The Benefits of Composting Cardboard Pizza Boxes

The Benefits of Composting Cardboard Pizza Boxes


Regardless of the type used, shredded cardboard is the best way to use this material for compost. However, if you cannot slice it, you can simply tear it or cut it as small as possible. Additionally, it will be good to remove tapes and stickers that don’t come off easily.

Even though it might seem easy, the process of avoiding the recycle bin and bypassing it is also one of the reasons why composting doesn’t work here. By composting the cardboard pizza packaging box, you remove the box from the recycling process. This effort will eventually save recycled resources. At the same time, it will also increase the need to clear forests to make up for the differences and produce new paper. 

We know that the market today has a significant need for cardboard products everywhere. This also means that the raw materials have to come from somewhere. Thus, reducing the amount of recycled pizza boxes could simply mean increasing the demand for new deforestation.

This supply and demand lens suggests that recycling cardboard might always be better than composting. Yes, we need resources. On the other hand, we also need less than creating new ones.

Recycle Pizza Boxes Vs. Composting

The only exception to this is if the cardboard is somehow dirty-think of a children’s art project. Or else, a greased pizza box-in is unsuitable for recycling. For processing, the entire recycling batch may become dirty and unusable. Thus, you will need to finely cut the pizza box and add it to the compost pile. 

In the end, there are costs, implications, and trade-offs for both recycling and composting.

The ideal solution here to ensure a clean cut is to reduce paper consumption from the beginning. Remember to print only when needed and double-sided as much as possible. A pizza brand needs to always use 100% recycled cardboard products whenever possible. After all, if no one wants to buy a recycled product, what are all the points of recycling?

About 68 million trees are cut down every year to make cardboard in the United States alone. Before encouraging customers to recycle or compost the boxes, you would need to think about your cardboard consumption. Eventually, consider the best way to reduce it.

Recycle and Compostable Cardboard Pizza Boxes Are Budget-Friendly

Recycle and Compostable Cardboard Pizza Boxes Are Budget-Friendly


We know that managing your budget should always be your primary concern. This case applies to your pizza brand as well. On the other hand, presenting and delivering your tasty pizzas in recycled pizza boxes does not mean that you have to spend a fortune. Instead, you can get premium-quality cardboard pizza boxes at the most affordable prices. How?

When customizing your pizza boxes at Instant Custom Boxes, you will get the chance to determine the amount of packaging material. In the end, you will get the chance to manage your budget easily and effectively. At the end of the day, you will only have to pay for the materials used and the customization features. Well, isn’t that great? 

Another excellent thing that makes these recyclable boxes to be budget-friendly is the high availability of cardboard packaging material. If you order the boxes from Instant Custom Boxes, you can also get the boxes in bulk. This way, you will have enough boxes all year round. Even better, you don’t have to worry about running out of boxes to pack and deliver your delightful pizzas.

So, Is Cardboard Pizza Boxes Compostable?

Yes, they are compostable!

Yes, we can confidently say that custom boxes offer more than you ever think. Not only will these boxes be perfect for protecting your pizzas and preserving them in the best flavors and conditions. More than that, these boxes are compostable enough to let you contribute to saving the environment. Hence, it is no wonder that many pizza brands use these notable boxes.

So if you think that you are excited about getting compostable cardboard pizza boxes, you will get the best ones from Instant Custom Boxes. We only offer the highest quality boxes made of durable and recyclable packaging material.

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