A Domino’s customer expressed frustration that the company’s packaging heavily encouraged recycling despite rules against recycling greasy pizza boxes.
TikTok user Kathryn (@hungoveremobitch) expressed concern about the company’s latest marketing push in a video that has garnered over 76,000 views since being uploaded on April 1.
@hungoveremobitch how about you be respnsible for better marketing @dominos ♬ original sound – Kathryn🦇
The user claimed customers would need to take apart the box and only recycle the pieces not contaminated by grease. They went on to say that while they were willing to take such measures, “most people are not gonna do that.”
In the comments section, users debated whether or not greasy pizza boxes can be recycled.
“Once again a big corporation putting the issue of their own product on their customers. As if their boxes are our responsibility,” read the top comment.
“Like bro why are you guilt tripping me about something I can’t do?” another commenter wrote.
However, many commenters argued that greasy pizza boxes can be recycled. “You can recycle cardboard with grease on, it’s an old thing that you could not in the past,” one commenter said.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, pizza boxes can be recycled “even if they have grease in them.”
Domino’s has also addressed these concerns with a website dedicated to policies and information on recycling.
The website’s frequently asked questions page states that while the grease in pizza boxes could theoretically “interfere with the bonding ability of fibers during the paper making process,” a study has shown that the expected volumes of grease in pizza boxes “do not significantly impact the paper making process.”
The study, commissioned by WestRock, claims that there is no significant technical reason that greasy pizza boxes cannot be recycled. The study elaborates that the boxes they tested had significantly higher amounts of grease than the average pizza box.
The company that commissioned the study is a packaging company that partnered with Domino’s to prominently print recycling messaging on the chain restaurant’s packaging.
However, some programs do not allow pizza boxes to be recycled. Domino’s includes a Resource Recycling Systems study that shows how many U.S. residents have access to programs that recycle pizza boxes. The study found that 79% of the population has access to programs that accept pizza boxes.
Furthermore, the study indicates that 10% of the population is served by programs that explicitly do not allow pizza boxes to be recycled.
While most cities allow pizza boxes to be recycled, many have varying guidelines and encourage pizza boxes to be composted if possible. The city of Austin, for example, lists composting as the best option for pizza box disposal and specifies that the grease-contaminated sections of pizza boxes should be removed if recycled.
In an email interview with the Daily Dot, Kathryn explained that she made the video because not everyone is allowed to recycle items with food waste on them, and many Americans are “uneducated” about recycling and composting.
“A lot of my comments are people telling me to just compost it but I think they are missing the point of how harmful it can be for such a major international corporation to blanket state ‘recycle this box,'” she wrote.
Kathryn continued to say that she does her best to recycle and cut down on several types of waste, “but major companies and corporations should hold themselves more accountable for their actions.”
The Daily Dot contacted Domino’s via press email for further information.