Are pizza boxes biodegradable?

This blog post will answer the question, “Are pizza boxes biodegradable” and cover topics like the biodegradability of pizza boxes and frequently asked questions related to the topic.

Are pizza boxes biodegradable?

Yes, pizza boxes are biodegradable. Pizza boxes are biodegradable because they are manufactured from corrugated cardboard, which consists of layers of paper liners that have been bonded together. The paper is biodegradable, thus the complete box is biodegradable.

Are Pizza Boxes Biodegradable?

Yes, pizza boxes can be composted since they are biodegradable. In addition to being biodegradable, they are also recyclable. It takes roughly 90 days for a pizza box made of cardboard to biodegrade or decay under optimal circumstances and when it is handled appropriately.

Pizza boxes are biodegradable because they are manufactured from corrugated cardboard, which consists of layers of paper liners that have been bonded together. The paper is biodegradable, thus the complete box is biodegradable.

However, the biodegradability of boxes is greatly dependent on the material used to construct the boxes. As long as they are manufactured from corrugated cardboard and not covered with wax, as is often the case, they are biodegradable.

Again, not all wax-coated cardboard boxes are harmful to the environment, since those manufactured from bee or soybean wax biodegrade. However, those composed of plastic or wax derived from plastic will not biodegrade.

Additionally, pizza grease might impair the biodegradability of pizza boxes. When oil adheres to cardboard, it becomes permanent and cannot be removed. In addition to the food, the oil may contaminate the whole batch if the pizza boxes were to be recycled.

To reuse the boxes correctly, remove any food remnants first. If the objective was for the boxes to biodegrade, they should be cleaned first, since mice, flies, and other pests may impede the process.

To be on the safe side, just cut the boxes into little pieces and then utilize only the clean or uncontaminated bits. Additionally, chopping the boxes into little pieces accelerates the breakdown process by increasing the amount of exposed surface area.

Are Pizza Boxes Compostable?

Yes, pizza boxes may be composted if the right technique is followed before putting them in the compost bin or outside pile.

Rarely does a cardboard pizza box not absorb oil or have cheese bits adhered to the bottom. Composting fans who are aware that adding dairy, oils, and fat to compost is prohibited may find this situation baffling.

You may encounter pizza boxes made of corrugated plastic or wax-coated cardboard. These items should not be placed in your composter since they will not decompose.

What about bleached cardboard and boxes with a great deal of ink printing? Yes, modest volumes of this sort of cardboard may decompose without contaminating the finished compost with chemicals or colors.

Before deciding if composting pizza boxes is worth the time and work, let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.

Pizza Box Composting: Pros And Cons


  • Reduces garbage deposited in landfills
  • Offers a carbon or “brown” composting material to balance “green” elements.
  • Frees up room in the residential garbage can
  • The addition of grease cartons to paper recycling collection might contaminate other goods.


  • Cutting or tearing the package into tiny pieces takes time.
  • You may wind up with more cardboard than your composting system can handle, creating storage concerns.

Can you recycle pizza boxes?

The majority of pizza boxes are composed of corrugated cardboard and are recyclable, similar to paper items. However, there is a difficult aspect.

It is more frequent to discover grease stains, oil, and cheese adhered to a pizza box. 

While most recycling facilities may allow you to place cardboard and paper items in the recycling bin, most recycling centers do not accept greasy, food-stained packaging. This may radically disrupt the paper recycling process as a whole.

Paper and cardboard must be soaked in water and combined with chemicals to soften their fibers. If your pizza boxes are soiled with grease, they will not absorb water. In addition, the pulp will not adequately separate from the oil. If this occurs, the whole batch will be damaged.

The most efficient approach to recycling your pizza box is to separate the clean and greasy pieces. Most likely, the top cover of the box will be clean, so you may recycle them. 

Once the cardboard has been cut, it may be placed in the recycling container. The remainder of the grease-stained cardboard box cannot be recycled and must be composted or thrown away.

Best Composting Method For Pizza Boxes

Thankfully, there are relatively few procedures necessary to properly compost pizza boxes. I would like to remind out that individuals who use a vermicomposter will discover that worms are particularly fond of the fatty portions of the box.

  • Step-1 First, Clear Out The Box

Remove any plastic or wax paper from the inside, and discard any leftover crumbs or loose topping. You should only compost cardboard, even if it contains oil or food particles adhered to it.

  • Step 2 – Size Reduction

Reduce the box to as many little bits as possible by tearing or cutting it. If you have a powerful paper shredder, you can speed through the non-food and greasy parts. I find that cardboard shreds decompose the quickest and give the most beneficial aeration to my compost pile.

  • Step 3 – Include in Your Compiler

Combine your pizza box’s clean and oily scraps by mixing them together. Add the material to the composter as you would any carbon component, ensuring that the ratio of carbon to green elements is appropriate.

If you are concerned that bugs may find the food leftovers and oil enticing, bury the pizza box waste deep into the heart of your pile.

  • Step 4- Mix Or Rotate Your Compost

To hasten decomposition, stir or mix your compost every few days, which helps maintain ideal levels of heat, air, and moisture.

Even oily cardboard is expected to degrade after 2 to 3 months. In less than a month, cardboard shreds become unrecognizable in my composters.

Five Innovative Uses for Pizza Boxes

A few uses of pizza boxes are listed below:

  • Construct a bed for your cat.
  • Construct a laptop stand
  • Making a kid’s art easel
  • Make a pizza box nightstand
  • Making wall art

I will now elaborate on these.

Construct a bed for your cat.

Cats like boxes of all shapes and sizes, and your cat has likely been eyeing the pizza box since it entered the house. Make a bed out of a pizza box to avoid purchasing an expensive cat bed that she will forsake in favor of the nearby box. 

There is no need to cut or fold the box, but the top must be torn off. The cat’s favorite ragged blanket may be added for added comfort.

Construct a laptop stand

Simply unfold the whole box, including the tabs, sides, and flaps. Then, refold it so that a slight slope is formed. Fold a little edge up at the bottom of the slope to prevent your laptop from falling. 

There should also be a hole on the rear through which a charging wire may easily pass.

Making a kid’s art easel

Art easels may be costly, and children often use them once or twice before abandoning them. Use or gift your artistic child the pizza box, which they will use and may discard and which will not cost you anything. 

Permit children to express their creativity by dismantling the boxes and reassembling them using tape or glue.

Make a pizza box nightstand

You may utilize pizza boxes as storage solutions while demonstrating your love of pizza. You may create a nightstand with drawers to hold your belongings and keep your desk neat.

Making wall art

Pizza boxes may be used to create wonderful wall art. Before putting them on the wall, create your own wall art designs on them using paint. It might be an excellent approach to developing your artistic side.

What is the most effective way to dispose of pizza boxes?

After emptying your pizza box, you have many disposal alternatives.

  • Toss It Out
  • Reuse It
  • Put It on Your Compost Heap.

I will now elaborate on these.

Toss It Out

Unfortunately, the garbage is one of the most typical destinations for old pizza boxes. This is the least tempting choice for eco-conscious individuals, but it involves the least amount of work.

If you are reading this post, I assume that alternatives 2 and 3 are of more importance to you.

Reuse It

Pizza boxes may be recyclable, contrary to popular belief. This mostly relies on the pollution levels of the cardboard.

The corrugated cardboard itself is recyclable, but in order to recycle a pizza box, you must remove any greasy or food-soiled pieces.

Because recycled materials are combined with water during the recycling process, greasy pizza box portions cannot be recycled. As you surely already know, water and oil do not mix, which means that the final product will not deliver the intended outcome and will likely be rejected.

Put It on Your Compost Heap.

The most secure way to dispose of a discarded pizza box is to place it in your compost heap. Yes, pizza boxes are biodegradable, and this includes the oily sections and any leftover food (does this truly occur!).

This presupposes that your pizza box is constructed of corrugated cardboard and does not contain a waxy coating, which is the case with the majority of pizza boxes. 

If your pizza box doesn’t exactly match the conventional mold, your compost pile may not provide the intended results.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs), “Are pizza boxes biodegradable?”

How long does a pizza box take to decompose?

It may take roughly 90 days for a pizza box to biodegrade or disintegrate if it is biodegraded correctly and under optimum circumstances.

Can pizza go in the compost?

Yes, you may recycle leftover pizza, but you may want to rethink if it was very meaty or cheesy. Meat and dairy have strong odors that can attract bugs to your compost pile if you put too much of them in your compost bin.

Can cardboard containing oil be composted?

Composting is an option for recycling cardboard!

If you’re worried about this, bury the oily portion of the box around one foot deep in your compost pile, and you shouldn’t have any issues. Tear or tear the box into tiny pieces to hasten its decomposition.

Why are certain pizza boxes not recyclable?

While pizza boxes are typically composed of 100 percent recyclable materials, many people are unaware that if they get soiled with extra food or grease, they are no longer recyclable and might contaminate the rest of the recycling if added.

Can boxes for donuts be composted?

Similar to pizza boxes, any paper packaging that has been contaminated with food, oil, or food is not recyclable. 

In this scenario, you have the same options: remove and compost the soiled portions, and recycle the clean portion. This may include packaging for donuts, fast food bags, sandwich wraps, etc.

What material is a pizza box composed of?

Corrugated cardboard

The majority of pizza boxes are manufactured from corrugated cardboard, which consists of three layers of paper liners that are bonded together. 

This material is blended, printed, and then fed through a die machine that chops out vents and generates creases that will be folded into a box.


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