Why Recycling Paper Is So Important
Years of experience working in the waste disposal
The impact of humans on the planet is under more scrutiny than ever, as more and more people become engaged in environmental issues. In this article, the team at Ward Bros are going to look at the reasons why it’s so important for us to recycle paper as part of a wider mission to reduce our impact on the environment.
Why should we recycle paper?
We use around 12.5 million tonnes of paper every year in the UK, which equates to quite a lot of sheets. Currently, around 67% of paper and cardboard that we use is recycled, but what is recycling paper good for?
Recycling paper: the numbers
Creating paper products from recycled paper uses 70% less energy when compared to creating paper products from trees – the pollutants associated with creating paper from trees is a significant contributor to smog, as well as potential health problems resulting from poor air quality and pollution.
Recycling one tonne of paper equates to saving 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water and 4,000kW of energy. It also saves around 3 cubic yards of landfill space. So, if recycling just one tonne of paper saves such large amounts of water, oil, energy and space, imagine the impact of recycling more than 67% of the 12.5 million tonnes of paper we currently get through in a year.
What is made from recycled paper?
There’s a range of everyday objects that can be made from recycled paper. Paper itself can be made from recycled paper, and one tonne of recycled paper equates to 20 cases of ‘new’ paper.
Paper towels and toilet paper
Where paper towels are concerned, it is even more environmentally-friendly to use a multi-use cloth for things like cleaning dishes and wiping surfaces, but if paper towels are necessary, try and opt for recycled ones.
Recycled toilet paper can be bought in large quantities for a similar price to ‘normal’ toilet paper – £4.99 for 9 rolls – and it is massively more eco-friendly than the non-recycled version.
Planning a move but don’t have any cardboard boxes lying around? Consider purchasing some recycled cardboard boxes – they’re made from 100% recycled paper, and they’re just as strong and sturdy as standard cardboard.
Myths about recycling
I can recycle my old pizza boxes
A pizza box with remnants of cheese and grease on it isn’t recyclable. If you don’t separate a pizza box from your old newspaper, the grease from your pizza box can contaminate the newspaper, which could render it non-recyclable. Make sure to be vigilant when sorting otherwise-recyclable items that have been in contact with food.
I can recycle tissues and kitchen roll – they’re just like paper
This is incorrect. Tissue paper and kitchen roll cannot be recycled, so put any leftovers of these products into your general waste bin. The rolls themselves are of course recyclable, but the tissue paper and paper towels are not – putting them into your recycling bag can render the whole contents non-recyclable!
I can recycle my receipts
Believe it or not, this is incorrect. 50% of the 11 billion receipts printed every year in the UK are printed on thermal paper, which is not recyclable. If these receipts were to be recycled, the various chemicals would potentially damage the environment. You may have noticed shops asking you for your email address when you purchase something – this is because many retailers are switching to email receipts to be more eco-friendly.
Taking the time to research what is recyclable and what isn’t, and then separating your rubbish correctly, can help you live a more eco-friendly life. We throw so many things in the bin every day; taking a little more care to recycle what we can will make a difference.
Ward Bros are committed to providing comprehensive and effective recycling services for customers through Durham, Washington and the surrounding areas. We’ll collect your waste and transfer it to our waste transfer station; here, your waste will be sorted and the recyclable materials extracted. This way, we minimise the waste sent to landfill and reduce our impact on the environment. For more information about our recycling services, please contact our friendly team today.