Packaging Leader DS Smith Settles the Score on Recycling Pizza Boxes Before the Big Game
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.
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.
Recovered fibers from pizza boxes can be reused as many as 10 times by paper and packaging companies to make new boxes, diverting waste from landfills and incinerators and toward local recycling facilities. An increase in recycling contributes to a circular economy, where material is reused 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 and packaging associations 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 products for both traditional and e-commerce retailers, covering wine boxes and ready-meal trays to cardboard coolers and fresh fruit trays.
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 survive the harsh, wet and cold supply chain and can then be recycled versus landfilled.
DS Smith’s innovative 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.