We often hear a lot about the importance of recycling. No matter where you are, recycling facilities seem to be all over the place. Schools, offices, shopping centres, and local councils - they’re all on the recycling bandwagon. Offices are one of the prime hotspots for recycling since so much paper is used, and on a regular basis too, bosses are left with a moral obligation to do their bit.
While the importance of putting scrap paper in the recycling bin is important, are those who recycle actually aware of what happens when it is taken to the recycling plant? Probably not.
This post seeks to shed some light on the actual recycling process, to help people understand the importance of it. So let’s get stuck in and take the process step by step.
Paper and card that has been accumulated by schools, offices and other institutions is collected and placed into a large recycling container, ready to be transported to the nearest recycling plant.
Once the large amount of paper has arrived at the recycling plant, it is then separated into types and grades. This is done to avoid the cross contamination of various different materials used in different kinds of paper and card.
The now-organised paper is washed with soapy water to remove all traces of inks, plastic films/covers, staples and glue. Once this has been completed, it is placed into a large holder and mixed with water to make ‘slurry’.
Different materials are then added to the slurry to enable the creation of different paper products for different uses. This could include cardboard, newsprint or office/printer paper.
Spread it out
Once all the necessary materials have been added, the slurry is spread out into thin sheets, using large rollers.
The paper is left to dry out, and then it is rolled up ready to be cut. Once this process is complete, it is sent back out to the shops.
Being able to picture the process taking place and understand the stages the paper goes through can help encourage a feeling of responsibility to recycle. It can be very easy for employees to simply throw their paper away into the nearest bin, whether it is a general waste or recycling bin. For this reason, it is important that, as a business, you ensure employees are equipped with adequate containers for the recycling of card and paper (and other materials such as plastic bottles). By making the whole process that little bit easier, it offers less of an excuse for people not to recycle.
While you are getting the office into the swing of recycling, remember that there are also other office essentials that can be recycled, such as printer cartridges (here at Printware, we offer this service for free), paper cups, used folders and batteries. So keep the momentum up and make your footprint a green one!