While pizza boxes aren’t recyclable (thanks to the cheese grease), a paper company in Staten Island has figured out a way to recycle the island’s trash into pizza boxes. DNAinfo reports that Pratt Industries has produced 1,000 boxes made fully from recycled paper at their Staten Island factories. The boxes are very proud of their birthplace and feature the iconic Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the phrase “Made in Staten Island” in a large font on the front of the box.
The boxes were given to nine pizzerias in the New York City borough for free, but Pratt says it will make more of the trash boxes to sell if “interest is high.” The boxes are currently “being used by restaurants across the borough to promote the environmental and economic benefits of recycling.”
City Hall’s Room 9 now has a “Made in Staten Island” pizza box 🍕 pic.twitter.com/qfeUWTLR0q
— Anna Sanders (@AnnaESanders) January 8, 2016
Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia proclaimed that the pizza boxes are an “economic benefit to the community” and that they are an “environmentally sustainable approach.” Makes sense, considering how much New Yorkers, and Staten Islanders in particular, love their pizza. Councilman Joe Borelli notes that the box not only serves as a promotion for recycling but also as a reminder to “other boroughs about how many great pizzerias are on Staten Island.”
The trash-based pizza boxes are great news unless they contain a group of toxic chemicals commonly used to grease-proof the boxes. Last week, the FDA announced plans to ban the chemicals, known as perfluoroalkyl ethyls, which act as “oil and water repellants for paper and cardboard” when they come in contact with fatty foods—like cheesy, cheesy pizza. The ban comes after new data shows there is ““no longer a reasonable certainty” that the chemicals don’t cause birth defects and cancer. Ugh.