Trees are a valuable natural asset. A 50-year tree is worth $710,260. However, deforestation is rapidly reducing the earth’s green cover. The paper industry accounts for almost 35% of the world’s deforestation. Recycling of paper is an effective way to reduce this industry’s share in deforestation. It balances the requirement of paper, protection of trees, and conservation of environment.
Reduces paper’s share in landfills
On an average, an American uses 750 pounds of paper in a year. This adds up to 190 billion pounds of paper that the country uses each year. A little under half of this is discarded in dustbins and waste bins after first use. This is either burnt or used in landfills. And landfills emit harmful impurities in the air.
Shredding Paper waste
Paper shredding, instead of throwing away used paper, is a simple but effective way to control deforestation and limit the release of greenhouse gases from landfills. Shredded paper is sent back to the paper recycling plants to produce pulp. It helps to promote the 3R principle of conservation, which is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Industries are major consumers of paper. There are different types of paper shredders available in the market, which can help industries in efficient waste paper.
Compacting paper waste: After the paper is shredded, it can be compacted and compressed with the help of waste equipment such a self contained compactor. Moreover other paper waste like paper bags, newspapers, etc can be compacted and sent to industries for further processing.
Conserves man-made and natural resources
First-time paper production consumes far more energy and resources than the recycling process. This is due to multiple factors such as:
- Cost of cutting trees
Machinery and manufacturing cost
Shop-floor and storage space for raw and finished goods
In comparison, the paper recycling process is more cost, energy, and resource-efficient.
Saves precious water and electricity
Paper production uses a lot of water. Depending upon the manufacturing technology, anywhere between 2500 and 6000 gallons of water is used to make one ton of paper. Although more and more paper manufacturing plants are adopting better waste-water and effluent management methods, they are still far from zero-waste levels. Even the more advanced plants need around 300 to 400 gallons of water to produce one ton of paper. In comparison, paper recycling plants consume 47% less water. Since recycled paper can be produced in lesser time than the first-time paper, it also consumes lesser electricity.
Reduces land, subsoil and atmospheric pollutants
Paper manufacturing releases harmful gases such as toluene, methanol, chlorine dioxide, hydrochloric acid, and formaldehyde. However, recycled paper releases lesser quantities of these pollutants than fresh paper. This is mainly because recycled pulp fibers need a lesser amount of harmful processing materials than virgin pulp fibers.
Paper is an inevitable part of our lives. However, by recycling it, we can help to reduce the harmful fallouts of the paper industry. Twenty-four trees are cut to produce one ton of virgin paper, but a ton of recycled paper needs no felling of trees! Moreover, it emits 37% lesser greenhouse gases in the air. Thus, recycled paper goes a long way in conserving the environment.
In conclusion, paper shredding is the best way to help the cause of recycling paper. Furthermore, industries as major consumers of paper should come forward and adopt paper shredding. Especially as their conservation motto. The different types of industrial paper shredders can help them do so.
Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment saving techniques by visiting his blog onCompactor Management Company.