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Can You Really Make A Difference? Why Should You Recycle Paper In The Office?

A compelling article in the Harvard Business review shows how innovation leads to success when it comes to recycling. It says” In the 1990s, the Ontario government pioneered a new office trash and recycling system — which has since been adopted by many U.S. cities, universities, and corporations — that reduces waste by an average of more than 50% and often saves at least a third of waste management costs. It was a simple innovation. They replaced each worker’s wastebasket with a mini trash can, only 5 ½ inches tall. Its small size forced people to think about what they were throwing away. Custodial staff no longer went desk to desk emptying trash cans – instead, employees were responsible for emptying their own mini-bins in a central location. That meant that tossing recyclables into the trash was no longer their easiest option.”

We are all very much aware of the importance of energy saving and recycling in the home – after all, we pay for it if we don’t keep it front of mind. However, studies have shown that we are less impelled to recycle at work, mostly because it doesn’t really feel like we’re making a difference. Turning one light off in a building of a thousand, recycling my 4 sheets of paper… it sounds like a drop in the ocean.

Why Recycle Paper In The Office?

We’d like to run a few numbers by you to highlight the importance of contributing towards any initiative to recycle paper, plastic, or glass.

  • Manufacturing paper from recycled waste uses 50 percent less energy and 90 percent less water than making it from raw materials (Source)
  • For every 100 reams of recycled office paper that is printed double-sided, it is estimated that you are saving 2 trees, 1 ton of greenhouse gases and a cubic meter of landfill space. (Source)
  • “Recycling paper reduces 10 major types of air pollutants and 8 categories of water pollutants.” (Source)

Pennies make Pounds, so we are told. Which means that we all have a responsibility to reduce our own personal office paper usage every single day.

Consider what may be eating away at your efforts to use less paper or recycle paper that has been used. Perhaps start small, removing waste paper bins and encouraging staff to use recycling boxes for paper waste. Talk to local recycling companies to see if they can offer a collection service of shredded paper, waste plastics or glass.

Mailmech may be all about printing and posting, but we are not all about waste.

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