Pizza boxes are recyclable!

Any way you slice it, those empty pizza boxes are 100% recyclable and ready for curbside pickup.

An increase in recycled items like pizza boxes results in an increased amount of recyclable fibers that will go into new packaging.

Super Bowl Sunday remains one of the busiest days for pizza chains. The American Pizza Community estimates that 12.5 million pizzas are sold on the day of the Big Game every year, and sustainable packing leader DS Smith wants to settle the score around a big problem the day after the game: what to do with all those pizza boxes?

The answer is simple: no matter how you slice it, pizza boxes are 100% recyclable. In fact, those 12.5 million pizza boxes include enough recyclable material to reach from the Bengal’s Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati to the LA Ram’s SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles…and back.

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To clear up confusion, the major associations that provide research data to the corrugated industry, such as Fiber Box, the American Forest & Paper Association and the highly respected Sierra Club, all report that without a doubt, those empty boxes can be added to your curbside recycling.

Increased recycling adds to the stream of recovered fiber used as raw material by paper and packaging companies to manufacture new boxes, and strengthens our commitment to a circular economy, where material is resused as much as possible to extract its maximum value.

Said Toby Earnest, Director of Recycling for DS Smith North America, “We work closely with the major paper, packaging and recycling and municipalities to ensure that we’re letting the public know about the importance and urgent need for recovered fiber. I can say with 100% confidence that an increase in recycled items like pizza boxes results in an increased amount of recyclable fibers that will go into new packaging, ensuring that we generate a smaller carbon footprint by diverting these sustainable materials away from landfills.”

In response to escalated consumer demand, DS Smith has stepped up production of its recyclable pizza pad, an insert for use under the pies in boxes for a major, nationally acclaimed pizza brand. The packaging company said it sells 165 million pads each year, including a burst in production in the runup to the NFL championship game.

The customizable, 100% recyclable and sustainable pizza pad marks an example of the company’s renewable, fiber-based packaging solutions for hundreds of thousands of

Pizza is not the only food in demand on Super Bowl Sunday. Another menu staple of many chains—chicken wings—is also expected to surge in demand. The National Chicken Council says Americans will devour 1.42 billion wings this Sunday, a 2% jump over last year.

DS Smith’s Greencoat® technology is used by the some of the largest poultry processors to safely ship chicken wings all over the country, ensuring the boxes can survive the harsh, wet and cold conditions of the frozen food supply chain.

DS Smith’s packaging products are designed using its proprietary Circular Design Principles, which were developed in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. All of DS Smith’s 700 designers have been trained on how to apply the principles to design packaging solutions fit for the Circular Economy, and help its customers reach their corporate sustainability and ESG goals.

DS Smith’s innovations stem in part from its $140 million circular economy research and development program that supports the company’s pledge to offer all its customers 100% recyclable packaging within the next two years and for all its packaging to be recycled or reused by 2030. 


David Lindsay

David Lindsay

Media and Communications Manager

DS Smith


Caroline Curran

Caroline Curran

Hill+Knowlton Strategies

DS Smith

+1 256-653-5811