Millions of Americans recycle paper at home, work and school. This number keeps increasing as people become more aware of the importance of recycling and conservation. Recycling paper products conserves natural resources, reduces the need for land filling or incineration, saves energy and prevents pollution. According to the Paper Industry Association Council, 56% of the paper consumed is recovered for recycling. Included in this number, 48% of office paper is recovered for recycling, and 73% of newspaper is recovered. This translates to almost 360 pounds for every person in the country.
Recycled paper products include paperboard, tissue and paper towels, printing and writing paper, boxes, hydro-mulch, molded packaging, compost, kitty litter, and 1.5 million tons of construction products.
It is not just trees being saved by not using virgin wood pulp for products. The EPA states that recycling 1 ton of paper saves 1,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity in addition to 17 mature trees. Recycled paper generates 74% less air pollution and uses 54% less water vs. making new paper. Overall, it uses only 60% of the energy it would take to make paper from virgin wood pulp.
Recycling numbers can increase by encouraging away from home collection. The EPA has set up an initiative called Recycle on the Go as part of its Resource Conservation Challenge. Its goal is to encourage recycling in public places. Their objective is to increase the amount of paper waste collected for recycling, and promote a culture of recycling by making it convenient, available and cost effective.
You should choose a company which is socially responsible company dedicated to a greener future. In addition to an extensive list of environmentally sound office products, the company should be dedicated to selling only recycled and tree-free papers. To further conserve, they reuse shipping cartons and pad them with recyclable paper, never polystyrene foam.