Reduce Reuse Recycle What to Do with Your Used Paper
Oct 23, 2019

If you’re wondering what to do with your used paper, we’ve created a handy guide to help you with your paper recycling. These options are easily accessible to anyone who’d like to make greener decisions and take active steps to sustainability.

Why Recycle Paper?

Recycling paper, like with any other natural resource, conserves important materials needed for the planet, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by producing new material from scratch and saving space in overflowing landfills.

Everyone can work towards more sustainability and recycling. This includes businesses, too. Many companies like Asia Pulp and Paper are actively working toward a more sustainable future, which includes the proper recycling of paper products.

Which Paper Types Cannot Be Recycled?

Before you toss everything into the recycling bin, it’s important to remember that not everything can be recycled. There are cases where specific paper can unfortunately not be recycled, and doing so can cause more damage than good. Paper which cannot be recycled is:

● Soiled paper: This means dirty napkins, tissues, pizza boxes or paper plates. Or anything which is dirty and stained, or still has old food attached to it. The contamination from the food could spread to clean paper during the recycling process, resulting in the whole batch ending up in a landfill.

● Shredded paper: Paper in this condition is too weak to be reused, as it has been shortened and thinned out. Shredded paper can be recycled at home, however, by using it in compost.

● Paper coated in wax, plastic or foil: Some paper items may have a coating on them which is not recyclable. An example may be a juice box carton or milk carton. Check your items carefully, and if ever unsure, open up the carton to see if there is a coating inside.

How to Recycle Paper at Home

While it’s always important to put out used paper with your normal recycling collection, it’s not a necessity if you would prefer to use other creative ways to recycle this material. The following options can all be achieved at home:

● Create your own compost: As mentioned with the previous point regarding shredded paper, you can create your own compost at home. Waste paper can form an integral part of a useable compost heap.

● Create your own mulch: This is a quicker option for those who would rather not spend time making their own compost. For garden mulch, break down your waste paper and place in the soil around your plants in order to add much-needed nutrients.

● Use as packing material: Whether to protect valuable items in transit, as part of a gift-wrap for a present or perhaps something you’ve sold online, old newspaper and waste paper can form a great packaging material.

● Make new paper: Yes, you can actually make fresh paper with your old waste paper. This is quite a dedicated task, but it can be done with patience. It may be a good idea to learn more about making new paper and try this activity with the whole family in order to teach the importance of recycling.

How to Recycle Paper at a Business Property

Businesses will produce a lot of waste paper, whether it’s brochures, catalogs, packaging material or general documentation which has been printed and filed. While it is always a good best practice to avoid ordering unnecessary paper, sometimes it is unavoidable.

With paper waste which is unavoidable, businesses should do the following:

● Employ a regular recycling collection service: Ensure that your business has been provided with the dumpsters applicable to each recyclable material, including paper and cardboard, and that this trash unit is regularly collected.

● Pay attention to the level of paper waste: If you find that your paper dumpster is constantly overflowing before the next collection is due, it is clear that you require an additional container. It’s important to ensure that paper waste doesn’t then get combined with regular garbage just in order to get rid of the overflowing waste.

● Ensure all staff is trained in recycling: Business owners are usually not directly involved in the disposal of materials on a daily basis, as it will be the designated employees who take care of this. Therefore it is important that all staff members are trained to understand the importance of recycling, and know where all relevant recycling stations are. They should also be told to whom they should report if a recycling issue arises or if they need advice.