How to reduce office paper waste in your business

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Reduce, reuse, recycle… We know that paper has one of the best recycling rates of any material – a fantastically closed-loop lifecycle. But what about the other elements of the waste reduction mantra? How can we reduce and reuse so that we reduce the amount of office paper waste in our offices?

Paper recycling rates run at more than 70 percent. And the recycled fibers have eager markets where they can be used. In fact, those wood fibers will, on average, be reused four times over their lifetime.

This is a fantastic recycling success story. However, the transportation and recycling processes do have their own carbon footprints. To make our use of paper even more sustainable, we should also focus on the other elements of the waste reduction mantra and reduce the amount of office paper waste we produce.

The following four tips will help you to reduce the amount of office paper waste in your office.


#1. Select a lower weight paper for everyday use

This is a no-brainer really – if you use a lighter weight paper, the overall weight of your paper waste will be reduced. Lighter weight papers aren’t ideal for all use cases – such as flyers or brochures. You can read our guide on how to choose the best weight paper for your purposes here. However, there is no reason why your everyday printing requirements can’t be met perfectly with a lower weight paper of around 70gsm.


#2. Use duplex printing

Most papers these days include pigments to ensure they offer a white, opaque finish. This means that even some lighter weight papers are suitable for double-sided printing. If your printer supports duplex printing, this is a great way to reduce your overall paper consumption and amount of office paper waste. Find out more about how to choose an opaque paper here.


#3. Have a paper waste bin for misprints

Misprints happen. How can you make them work for you? Keep a box next to the printer for any misprints and/or any waste office paper that has only been printed on one side. You can use this paper as jotter paper. We know that taking paper notes helps the retention of information and that doodling can boost concentration in meetings – this paper is ideal to be reused for these purposes!

#4. Protect the onwards lifecycle of your waste paper

Choosing the right paper at the purchasing stage helps to guarantee the onwards lifecycle of your waste office paper. Some wood fibres are better suited to recycling. For example, the Eucalyptus Globulus has a higher pulp yield – making production more efficient. Plus, the Eucalyptus Globulus fibres have better recyclability – giving them a lower carbon footprint over their lifecycle and ensuring any waste you do generate can be recycled.