Sustainability might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about pizza, but it’s time for that to change.
For too long, corrugated pizza boxes have been left out of recycling efforts due to vague municipal regulations and fears about contamination from grease and food particles. Now, Performance Foodservice and WestRock are working together to make pizza delivery more sustainable through Performance Food Group’s Sustainable Choices™ program, and is designed to enlighten consumers about the realities of pizza box recycling.
The program includes an online portal that allows users to look up their recycling guidelines by zip code as well as additional materials to bring clarity to the issue of corrugated pizza box recycling.
“Sustainability has long been a guiding principle for us,” Dennis Riffer, president and CEO of AFFLINK – the division of Performance Food Group responsible for the campaign said in a press release. “Aligning with our partners at WestRock on this campaign solidifies our corporate Environmental, Social and Governance strategy in a way that will benefit our restaurant customers and their guests for years to come.”
According to a study performed by WestRock, 73% of the U.S. population is estimated to have recycling programs available for pizza boxes, but many consumers are under the false impression that recycling pizza boxes is not allowed. The online portal at recyclethispizabox.com also shares illuminating statistics such as the fact that, “there are approximately 3 billion pizza boxes used in the U.S., annually, which represent 600,000 tons of highly desired corrugated material that should be recycled and not needlessly wasted.”
Sustainable Choices provides support at the restaurant operator level in the form of window clings, stickies, and digital assets so that operators can help spread the word. Pizza boxes produced by WestRock for Performance Food Group’s private label brands feature the QR code that directs consumers to the online web portal for additional information.
In a press release, WestRock said that the goal of Sustainable Choices is to, “increase awareness on pizza box recyclability and encourage pizza box recycling acceptance, in clear language, from municipalities on local pizza box recycling policies.”