What is paper recycling?
Most countries have efficient systems in place for collecting and sorting wastepaper. Thanks to recycling, this wastepaper can be reused for making similar products, reducing the amount of waste that ends up at landfills and the need for new virgin fibre. The paper cycle is an example of a circular economy, where materials are kept in the cycle and reused to create new products, reducing the need for new resources and minimizing waste.
What is recycled paper used for?
The primary use of recovered or recycled paper is to produce a wide range of paper and cardboard products, such as newspapers, magazines, office paper, and packaging. Traditionally newsprint papers have always been made with a high proportion of recycled fibre, often as much as 100%.
Once paper fibres have become too torn to use as raw material for new paper production, however, they can still be reused for other fibre-based products such as egg cartons, as well as for arts, craft or other creative applications. When fibre is too weak for further recycling, it can also be used for generating bioenergy.
What paper products can I recycle?
Any clean paper is suitable for recycling, such as newspapers, cardboard, packaging, stationery, direct mail, invoices, office paper, magazines, catalogues, greeting cards, envelopes and wrapping paper.
What paper cannot be recycled?
Any paper that is lined with foil or plastic cannot be recycled. The same applies to carbon paper, laminated or wax paper, stickers, and soiled disposable tableware. Impurities can harm the recycling process and it is therefore important to check the contents of paper before recycling it.
What are the benefits of recycling paper?
Recycling paper reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill. Recovered paper is an important raw material both for graphic paper and for packaging. It conserves natural resources by providing recycled paper fibres to be used for making new products, which reduces pollution and requires significantly less energy during the papermaking process compared to virgin fibre.
As well as environmental benefits, paper recycling also promotes jobs and supports community welfare in a circular economy. All in all, it’s a small act that creates a big impact for people, for the planet and for future generations!