Start recycling paper

2015-05-12 06:00
Almost 30% of local organisations do not practise or promote paper recycling initiatives.


PHOTO: 
PHoto24

Almost 30% of local organisations do not practise or promote paper recycling initiatives. PHOTO: PHoto24

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With the global paper consumption set to rise from the current 400 million tonnes in the next five years, there is no better time to start recycling.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), paper consumption will grow to between 450 million and 500 million tonnes by 2020.

The amount of paper being recycled in South Africa has increased by over a third in the past decade and is expected to reach 63% by 2017, according to statistics released by the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa.

Businesses and organisations can make a significant difference to the environment by simply recycling documents and printing or packaging materials, says Dorota Boltman-Malone, divisional director of a local paper collection and recycling service.

“Paper documents can be recycled up to seven times for reconstitution before the ­fibre becomes too short, meaning that a collective effort by South African businesses to recycle can have substantial effects in reducing the amount of natural resources needed for production of new daily used materials and goods,” she says.

The 2014 Metrofile Information and Records Management Trends Index found that 26% of local organisations do not practice or promote paper recycling initiatives.

Organisations that do not have in-house recycling stations can approach recycling service providers to implement these practices, Boltman-Malone says.

She adds that industrialised paper wastage use up unnecessary landfill which accounts in total for about 35% of global municipal landfill space.

“As a result, South African businesses must realise the vast environmental and business benefits of recycling, as paper consumption shows no signs of decreasing anytime soon.”

Unwanted paper documents, magazines, books, newspapers and cardboard boxes are all ideal for recycling, she says.

Once materials are gathered in recycling stations, stock is collected and processed into different grades, thereafter used as a secondary fibre during the production of new tissue paper and packaging materials.

“No matter how big an organisation is, everyone uses paper materials and this means that there is an opportunity to make a difference in trying to save the environment for the generations to come. Paper that has been used, is not a waste any longer, if recycled it becomes a resource,” she says

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