Wax = Plastic
The “wax” that you can scrape off is actually polyethylene, a plastic that keeps the cardboard inside from getting soggy. Waxed cardboard is mostly used by retailers (for shipping produce), so unless you’ve brought your groceries home in a produce box, you most likely don’t have it in your home.
Glossy Is Not Waxed
Glossy cardboard and paper is not waxed. If you can’t scrape the “wax” off with your fingernail, it’s most likely paperboard and therefore recyclable.
Alternative Ways to Recycle
Enviro-Log Recycling Program
Recycling company Enviro-Log offers retailers a recycling program for waxed cardboard. Retailers who are interested in participating can have their waxed cardboard diverted from the landfill and sent to Enviro-Log, where it will be repurposed. Interested retailers can find out more here.