The state of the environment is now a major concern for all governments, industries and consumers. It’s constantly in the news and there’s a general acceptance about the great benefits of more sustainable ways of life. One great way to help the environment is to ensure you are recycling waste products wherever you can as recycling saves energy, reduces raw material extraction and combats climate change. The vast majority of studies have found that recycling our rubbish is better for the environment rather than incinerating or landfilling it.
From newspapers and magazines to letters and paper bags, paper is one of the most widely recycled items in the UK.
Did you know…?
-Paper fibres can be recycled 4 to 5 times.
-The process of creating recycled paper uses 31% less energy* than the creation of virgin fibre paper.
-Producing a tonne of recycled paper takes 35,000 fewer litres of water* than producing one tonne of virgin fibre paper.
-It takes 1.2 tonnes of recycled fibres to produce 1 tonne of Cocoon recycled paper, but it would take 2.5 tonnes of wood to make 1 tonne of virgin fibre paper.
*based on Cocoon
How Is Paper Recycled?
Paper is taken from the bin and deposited in a large recycling container along with paper from other recycling bins.
The paper is taken to a recycling plant where it is separated into types and grades.
The separated paper is then washed with soapy water to remove inks, plastic film, staples and glue. The paper is put into a large holder where it is mixed with water to create ‘slurry’.
By adding different materials to the slurry, different paper products can be created, such as cardboard, newsprints or office paper.
The slurry is spread using large rollers into large thin sheets.
The paper is left to dry, and then it is rolled up ready to be cut and sent back to the shops.
While you can always pop used paper out for your regular recycling collection, there are other, more creative, ways of recycling paper that you might want to try at home.
Use it as mulch or compost
Waste paper is a vital ingredient of a healthy compose heap. If you don’t have the space (or time) to build one yourself then you can still recycle paper as mulch. Simply tear it into small strips and place it around your plants. Recycling paper in this way helps to keep the soil in your garden moist and adds nutrients to it too.
Use it as packing material
Not sure how to recycle paper packaging and newspapers? Use them to bulk out boxes when packing items to move house, putting items into storage, or sending gifts to friends. Scrunch up items of used paper or cardboard to fill gaps in the box and protect your valuables.
At Oat Pantry we only use 100% plastic free packaging, that is made from either paper or cardboard (using recycled materials or sustainable materials from FSC approved sources). Our granola and porridge bags are made from paper with a natural plant based coating to keep our products fresh, you can either recycle our bags with your paper stream (to allow them to be made into another product) or you can compost them.