Here is the big question; are pizza boxes compostable? Yes, they are! You can compost the portion of the boxes that is dirty with the leftover pizzas. We know that the crumbs and grease stains make the boxes cannot be recycled. So, the best alternative here is to cut the dirty part of the boxes and place it into a compost pile.
On the other hand, even if you can compost the boxes, you still can recycle the parts of the boxes that are not contaminated with food. Confused? Let’s take a closer look at why you need to compost dirty parts of customized pizza boxes and how to recycle the rest.
Can We Recycle Customized Pizza Boxes?
Yes, of course, we can do it! Well, it will make sense because customized pizza boxes are mostly made of paperboard. This is why they must be completely recyclable.
The fiddly part is that there is leftover food in the box. For example, if pizza cheese, fat, sauce, or even a small amount of bread crumbs drips into the box, you can never recycle it. Instead, this can cause major problems in the recycling plants. If the fat remains on the paperboard, it will stay there, and you cannot wash the box.
So, the food will change the way fibers bind all through the recycling process. In the worst-case scenario, it will easily lead to contamination of the entire recycling process. How? Well, the fact is, leftover food is famous as one of the worst pollutants in this recycling process. Paper fibers cannot be separated from the fat during the pulping process. In this case, if a greasy or dirty pizza box gets into the recycling center, the entire recycling batch can be wasted.
What can you do in this case?
Check the box to see if there is a clean place. You might find the bottom to be probably dirty and greasy. Also make sure to check the top. You can recycle the box if the top does not touch the food.
Then, cut out the dirty part and cut it into small pieces. Next, throw the pieces away in a place to collect compost or leftovers. You can then recycle the clean parts.
What Are the Benefits of Composting Customized Pizza Boxes?
Of course, composting customized pizza boxes will benefit many; from customers, brands, and also our environment. Some of the benefits of composting the boxes are:
- Helps to reduce landfill waste
- Provides carbon or “brown” compost material to balance the “green” materials
- Helps you free up trash space in your home
- Reduces the carbon footprint of your business
- Helps brands perform corporate social responsibility
Points to Note When Composting Customized Pizza Boxes
Even though you cannot recycle greasy pizza boxes, there are a few steps you can do to compost them properly. Those who use worm compost will find that worms especially like the greasy parts of the boxes. Below are the points you need to note when composting the boxes.
Check out the packaging material
The first thing you need to do is check out if the box you have is made of cardboard or wax-coated paperboard. These types of packaging materials should not be put into your compost. Why? Because the materials will not break.
Do note that the purpose of composting is to biodegrade and decompose waste to enrich soil and plants completely.
Although you may have the ideal environment for composting, decomposing will take forever. So, if the ingredients in the box can’t be broken down, it will not make sense to compost. In simple words, don’t add them.
Bleached or white cardstock or boxes printed with dark ink are unsafe. This is the main reason why you should only add these materials in small quantities. The reason is that the chemicals and dyes used can contaminate the compost.
The parts of boxes you can compost
The second point is that you only need to compost the portion of the box that doesn’t have leftover food. The leftover food will make the box to be non-recyclable and non-compostable. Even worse, they can cause major recycling or composting problems.
But wait, we have mentioned above that even fat-contaminated areas can be composted. Without any doubt, it is easy and possible. On the other hand, remember that you will need to be very careful in this. The biggest problem with composting greasy pizza boxes is that it invites rodents and pests. Definitely, this can cause other problems.
Therefore, you must first clean the box to remove any wax pieces and leftover food. Next, simply add the pieces to the compost. In a few months, the box will turn out to become compost and become unrecognizable. Then, you can break the box into smaller sizes to reduce the time required for the composting process.
Are Customized Pizza Boxes Biodegradable?
Yes, customized pizza boxes are biodegradable. Far better, these boxes are also recyclable. Under proper processing and ideal conditions, a box will take about 90 days to biodegrade or decompose. Cardboard paper used to make the boxes is why they are biodegradable. This paper can collapse. In such, the entire box can biodegrade.
However, remember that a pizza box’s biodegradability depends largely on the packaging material. The box will be biodegradable unless it is made of cardboard and coated with wax. In addition, not all wax-coated boxes can be environmentally friendly. Moreover, the boxes made of compostable beeswax or soy wax are biodegradable.
What Are the Best Ways You Can Dispose of Customized Pizza Boxes?
When it comes to disposing of customized pizza boxes, whichever way suits your situation will be the best one actually.
Overall, there are three options you can do:
- Put the clean parts that don’t have any food to the recycling process
- Compost the greasy and stained parts of box
- Discard the dirty parts in the green trash can (or similar trash can for organic waste)
Can We Recycle the Boxes?
In most cases, you do not want to throw away food or grease contaminated boxes in the porch or central collection box. However, most customers believe that any box is acceptable. Most recycling centers post acceptable products next to their website or trash can.
The Recycling Center will want you to avoid greasy cardboard boxes with food residues due to the way paper products are processed. The recycling process of both paper and cardboard will require these two items to soak in water and also chemicals. This way, they can soften the fibers. Then, the process will mix the two materials into a liquid.
In this context, if the box is still dirty or full of grease, you cannot expect it to mix well with the water. In fact, the grease or contaminant will not allow the pulp to separate from the oil as well. If this case happens, the whole batch of recycling will become unusable. In the end, this can eventually lead to a colossal waste of water and resources.
Therefore, in case you cannot compost the boxes, then you should do the right thing. It would be best if you took the time to cut the boxes with food contamination in the trash. Then, all you need to do is recycle the rest of the boxes. In many cases, the entire lid of the boxes might remain clean. This part of the boxes will be perfectly safe for you to recycle.
Use Recyclable Packaging Materials to Produce Your Boxes
Are you a pizza brand that is aware of performing your corporate social responsibility? If you are, you need to use recyclable packaging materials to produce your customized pizza boxes. For this, Pioneer Custom Boxes will be your packaging partner. We use the most durable, customizable, and recyclable packaging materials to produce your Custom Kraft Pizza Boxes. Simply give us a call now!
So, Are Pizza Boxes Compostable?
The first thing you need to note here is that you need to understand the tricks to handling greasy boxes. Yes, these boxes are easily compostable. This way, you will eventually save our environment by keeping those boxes out of the landfill.
When composting the boxes, you should not worry if a small amount of fat or food residue is left. If you do it properly, this leftover food will not adversely affect the process. Instead, by following the right steps to compost the boxes, you can reduce household waste by turning these boxes into good compost.
In the end, you can enjoy the tasty pizza with peace of mind. Meanwhile, you can help the garden and contribute to saving the environment! Now you surely understand the answer to the question of “are pizza boxes compostable?”