Paper. It’s used in abundance everywhere from office buildings to restaurant restrooms. In fact, according to Municipal Solid Waste, the United States uses about 68 million tons of paper and paperboard each year.
To achieve ecological balance in the realm of paper, it’s important to reduce its consumption, reuse it whenever possible and recycle consistently. Recycling paper is one of the single most simple, yet impactful, ways to affect change in individuals and businesses. People can do their part to make changes in a variety of ways:
Recycling Made Easy
The recycling symbol can be found almost everywhere, providing consumers and businesses with the option to dispose of paper or plastic product in a responsible manner. Placing waste in a recycling receptacle is the initial and most important step in the recycling process because items that aren’t marked for recycling are dumped. Subsequently most waste management systems charge more to dispose of pure trash than they charge for recycled goods. The savings from recycling paper and other items can equate up to $100 saved per ton of disposed trash.
Paper waste is broken down into areas that allow for a unified recycling effort from consumers, manufacturers and businesses. Pre-consumer waste is the excess paper material discarded while getting a product to the marketplace and post-consumer paper waste refers to paper discarded after it’s been used.
Businesses can contribute to the solution of landfill overcrowding by initiating the recycling process in facilities and production cycles. The purchase of products constructed from post-consumer waste can allow those outside the organization to experience the impact of green. Consumers can contribute to the effort by recycling paper and other items at establishments they visit.
Recycling programs help facilitate change in consumers and businesses they support. There has been an uptick in paper recycling in the last few years, as 63.4 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2009, marking the first time the number rose above 60 percent. Savings like this yield positive results for the environment, consumers and companies. A properly run recycling program can decrease a company’s disposal cost and waste output. For example, when the city of New York adopted a new recycling program, the city saved over $20 million.
Making It Count
Each year SCA’s Tork® brand recycles 750,000 tons of paper of which 400,000 tons are post-consumer waste. Recycling greatly reduces waste, water and energy usage at SCA’s paper mills. Some Tork paper towels and dispensers feature consumption control technology that allow customers to only use the correct amount of paper product, helping to reduce waste and refill cost.
While this impact comes directly from a paper manufacturer, a collective effort of businesses and consumers can yield greater results. According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a collective commitment to recycle just one more ton of paper every year can power one American home for six months, save 7,000 gallons of water and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. Small steps can become exponentially more significant when applied to a greater effort.
Tork is a brand of SCA, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget. SCA offers personal care products, tissue, packaging, publication papers and solid-wood products in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.sca.com
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SCA AfH Professional Hygiene Cira Centre, Suite 2600 2929 Arch StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 866-SCA-TORK (866-722-8675)
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