Food

In case you weren’t already aware, pizza boxes aren’t recyclable

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In case you weren't already aware, pizza boxes aren't recyclable
(Picture: Getty)

If you’re a half decent person, you already recycle.

Bottles, tins and cardboard in one bin, the rest in another.

It’s not hard to be a little environmentally friendly – and it stops your general bin from filling up days before the collectors come round.

But what you might not know is that not all cardboard can be recycled.

Pizza boxes, in particular, can’t be.

Lucy Watson, Made in Chelsea star, vegan and environmental activist, posted on Instagram stories last night the fact that pizza boxes are non-recyclable due to grease contamination.

In case you weren't already aware, pizza boxes aren't recyclable
(Picture: Lucy Watson/Instagram)

According to Stanford University’s department for Recycling Land, Buildings and Real Estate, the corrugated cardboard becomes soiled with oil and once soiled, can’t be recycled because the paper fibres can’t be separated from the oils during the pulping process.

‘Food or oil contaminated paper is considered a contaminant in the paper recycling bins,’ they say.

‘Best examples of this are pizza boxes and doughnut boxes. Since the paper is mixed with water in a large churner, the oil eventually separates from the paper fibres. The oil does not dissolve in the water, instead, it mixes in with the paper.

‘The eventual result is new paper with oil splotches. The mill we take our paper to asks us specifically to not include pizza boxes.’

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Recycle Now also says that pizza boxes should be chucked in the general bin and not in green ones.

So what’s the solution?

Well…you could just try to cut down on how much takeaway pizza you’re ordering.

Supermarket pizza tends to be less greasy and the sheath of film around them avoids any grease touching the cardboard.

But if you really want to minimise how much waste you’re producing then your best option is to have a go at making pizza yourself (sorry!).

In case you weren't already aware, pizza boxes aren't recyclable
(Picture: Getty)

It’s super easy – all you have to do is create a dough out of plain flour, yeast, salt, warm water and olive oil and then get to work on what kinds of toppings you want.

You don’t even really need to let the dough rise, especially if you like thin crust pizza.

Obviously, it takes a little longer to make your own than it does dialling up Domino’s but in all honesty, in the time it takes for the pizza to actually come to your house, you could have your own version almost ready to eat.

It’s almost certain to contain less fat, fewer calories, more fresh veg AND you’re not producing unrecyclable waste.

Failing that, supermarket pizza is probably your best eco-option.

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