How to Recycle Paper
Europe recycles the most amount of paper in the world and about 72% of its paper is recycled. It will also interest you to know that every second, 2 tonnes of paper is recycled. It is understandable that as a responsible citizen, you want to do your best to contribute to a clean and green earth and you’re looking for answers to how you can recycle all the paper you can. Let’s educate you on this very important issue.
How is Paper Recycled?
All the paper you submit for recycling is first sorted into different categories. Next, it is washed in warm soapy water. This step helps to remove ink, plastic and metal components like films and staples, and glue. Finally, the cleaned paper is mixed with water to create slurry, which is processed to make paper.
But, all paper cannot be recycled efficiently. This is because paper is made of long fibres and with every reprocessing; these fibres tend to become shorter and shorter. If the fibre lengths are too short, they cannot be turned into high-grade paper and must be used to make tissues or toilet paper. But, if the fibers are still long, processors can make them into the tough, white stationery that can be used in offices, educational institutions, and with printers.
How to recycle paper and which is recyclable paper?
Not all paper can be classified as recyclable. To understand how to differentiate, it is always advisable to check with the local paper recycling facility for directions. You could also use these pointers to sort your waste paper.
● Mixed paper, old newspapers, magazines, high-quality paper that does not have toxic ink on it, telephone directories, pulp substitutes, and old corrugated containers or packing materials can be safely recycled.
● Books with hard covers can be recycled. Make sure you remove the hard covering and spine before depositing them.
● Paper packaging that used to hold greasy or any other kind of oily food cannot be recycled. This is because during the procedure, the paper is mixed with water and since oil does not mix properly with water, it becomes impossible to process it. You can try to separate the oily sections of the paper and discard. Toss the clean parts into the recycling bin.
● While you could recycle shredded paper, shredding can also reduce the length of the fibres. Instead, you could use permanent markers to cover up confidential information and rip it into a few large pieces.
● If you have old greeting cards, they are considered to be mixed paper. Make sure they don’t have metal parts or electronic chips in them.
● Paper that has a waxy coating or a lamination film cannot be used.
● If possible, remove the sections of paper that have adhesive on them.
Where to Deposit Used Paper?
If you have always wondered where you can deposit used paper, here are a few ideas:
● The local trash collection agencies in your area probably have a separation and collection system in place so you can deposit the paper you think can be recycled. Use the appropriate bin to store the paper before it is picked up.
● Your workplace, school, or any other public places that you frequently visit also have the recycling bins set up at different locations. Make the effort to sort and submit the used paper so it can be processed for reuse.
● Check the internet for listings of local collection centers. Study the procedures they have laid down and deposit accordingly. Keep in mind that different collection centres might accept specific grades of paper only.
Now that you know how to recycle paper, you can go on to doing your bit to preserve our beautiful planet.
For more in-depth information about paper recycling we recommend reading this Wikipedia resources.
For paper recycling use the blue containers from any of the recycling bins.