Benefits of recycled paper
Which is better to use: recycled or newly minted paper?
We think the answer is easy: it’s better for the environment to use recycled paper, for all paper grades. Keen for your business to save the planet? Speak with our hygiene specialists today.
On average, more than four tons of trees are required to make one ton of chemical pulp for brand new copy paper. Half the weight of trees is water and less than half the weight of dried trees results in papermaking fibre.
Recycled paper products help protect forests, waterways, and wildlife habitats. The trees saved from being flushed down the drain or tossed into landfills can produce other less disposable products or be left in their place to be mighty trees, absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen for the good of us all.
Thousands upon thousands of trees are destroyed each year unnecessarily. We cut down vast swathes of forest to create throwaway products that are sometimes only used for a matter of seconds.
We know recycled paper has the potential to save a lot of trees, but is recycled paper actually greener? Let’s look at some facts, figures and the benefits of recycled paper.
Recycled paper: Energy use – tick!
The first point is that recycled paper used in products such as toilet paper, tissues, serviettes and paper towels is created from recycled office or newspaper and a mix of materials, such as off-cuts from printers, waste packaging discarded after shipping or waste materials from timber processing. It is not made from virgin pulp. If we look at the process of making recycled paper, it does take more energy to make paper from waste paper than from pulp because of the extra cleaning involved. However, if we include all the other energy requirements involved in turning wood chips into pulp, estimates are that the making of recycled paper uses around 50 per cent less energy than making paper from virgin trees.
Recycled paper: Pollution – tick!
Making new paper is more polluting than making recycled paper, particularly most printing papers other than newsprint. The pulping, bleaching and manufacture of new paper uses more chemicals and often the chemicals used to bleach fresh wood pulp are far more toxic and polluting than those used in making recycled paper.
Recycled paper: Bleaching – tick!
The bleaching process used to brighten paper releases chlorine, a toxin that poisons the environment. Recycled pulps require far less bleaching than freshly felled pulps, and less hazardous bleaches are used. For example, elemental chlorine-free (ECF) and totally chlorine-free (TCF) papers are made by using oxygen and hydrogen peroxide to bleach the pulp.
Recycled paper: Water use – tick!
Recycled paper production uses up to 50 per cent less water than new paper and fewer chemical processes. Making paper uses a huge amount of water, which can damage natural habitats by lowering the water levels and changing the water temperature near paper mills.
Recycled paper: CO2 emissions – tick!
The production of recycled paper also reduces carbon emissions. Recycling keeps the paper out of landfills, preventing its contribution to greenhouse warming. Carbon is retained in the paper when recycled rather than being released when incinerated or broken down in landfill sites. When compared to the production of newly-minted paper, 1 tonne of recycled paper can save 1.32 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Paper mills require more energy, primarily for pulping, than recycling mills, and release around 30 per cent more greenhouse gases.
Recycled paper: Quality – tick!
The quality of recycled paper has greatly benefitted from improvements in papermaking technology and quality controls over the last quarter of a century. Many recycled paper products are now indistinguishable from their first-time round equivalents, not just in their performance, but even in their appearance. Recycled toilet paper, tissues and paper towels are now found at many businesses, schools, cafes, restaurants and hotels throughout New Zealand.
To discuss using recyled paper products at your business or place or work, call 0508 467 462.
Recycled toilet paper, tissues, napkins and paper towels help divert waste paper away from landfills, and when compared to the manufacture of brand new paper their manufacture is less damaging to the environment. A better option all round we think.
At INSINC, we believe in the benefits of recycled paper and have an increasing number of recycled paper products appearing on our shelves. Businesses can easily find a variety of brands of recycled toilet paper, tissues and paper towels and serviettes. We sell soft, strong products free of bleach, inks, dyes and perfume.
If your business is already buying recycled paper products, then good on you, because you are making a difference and helping share the benefits of recycled paper. It's easier on the Earth to make toilet paper, tissues, serviettes and paper towels from paper than it is from trees. If you want to share the good at your business or place or work, call 0508 467 462.
Posted: Tuesday 25 August 2020