Paper and cardboard recycling has been proven to bring significant savings when it comes to harmful carbon emissions (Greenhouse gas).
A global study by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which analysed the carbon emissions of recycling this type of waste compared to sending it to landfill or to be incinerated, concluded that by recycling 1 tonne of paper and cardboard, 1.4 tonnes of harmful carbon generation would be avoided in contrast to landfill, and when it comes to incineration there would be a reduction of 0.62 tonnes of carbon emissions.
Nevertheless, many businesses find the act of calculating the carbon benefits of waste management tricky. With this in mind, baler specialist Miltek explains how companies can reap the rewards of paper and cardboard recycling.
Understanding Carbon Emission Savings in the Paper Industry
To tally the financial advantages brought about by carbon reduction of waste materials at your business, what is needed is to measure the savings that arise from the substitution of primary raw materials with secondary (recycled) raw materials, plus the energy efficiency improvements that arise from the reprocessing stage.
Recycled materials such as aluminium, glass and steel allow for significant savings because once they are used in the manufacturing of finished products, they perform just as well as primary raw materials but at significantly less cost.
With paper waste materials however, it is more difficult to determine their specific carbon saving on an overall basis than for other product sectors. The reason for this is that the paper manufacturing industry is extremely varied in terms of raw materials, energy sources, locations, production processes and output product groups.
To remedy this issue, the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) has formulated a framework for paper manufacturers to more effectively measure their carbon footprints. Nevertheless, it is still up to paper manufacturers to make a calculation based on their particular circumstances, so businesses who buy paper products still face lack of clarity when comparing the carbon footprint of different manufacturers.
This complex situation also makes it difficult for the paper industry to provide the Government and local authorities with a defined figure associated with recycling so that they can measure their carbon performance while recycling paper products.
That being said, the WRAP study mentioned above clearly shows that a significant carbon saving can be had from recycling paper and cardboard as opposed to binning it.
Paper Recycling Made Easy
One of the simplest and most effective ways for a company to recycle their paper waste is to use balers. These nifty compact and storage machines come in a range of sizes and specifications to suit individual companies, and reputable providers also allow businesses the option to rent or buy them to suit every budget. In a nutshell, the three main advantages of using a baler are:
- Efficient, space saving storage of paper waste.
- Money savings in terms of landfill tax and reduced volume of rubbish for professional removal.
- Easier transport to recycling centres.
Environmental Benefits of Paper Recycling
In the UK at present, it is estimated that approximately 90% of residual waste is disposed of at landfills and 10% is incinerated. WRAP has predicted that a total saving of 1.32 tonnes of carbon dioxide could be achieved per tonne through recycling instead of disposal. What’s more, as recycling technology improves, this figure will increase to bring even more carbon savings.
Another important point is related to the fact that paper is biodegradable – when it is dumped at landfill it creates methane, a potent Greenhouse gas that most experts agree is a serious contributor to climate change. Since paper is also carbon-based, when incinerated it releases carbon dioxide, which also has a strong impact on climate change
By recycling the cardboard and paper waste products your company generates, their carbon content is retained for longer. Another eco-friendly advantage of recycling is that there is less demand for trees (the primary fibre requirement in the paper manufacturing industry), which are vital for generating the oxygen we need.
Having read the above guide, it should be clear that paper and cardboard recycling is crucial – not only to the health of the environment since landfill or incineration solutions add to Greenhouse gas, but also to bring cost savings which every business in the current economic climate is aiming for. Once of the prime ways to make recycling easier is to use a baler. Conveniently, specialists such as Miltek offer a range of models to suit every company’s needs and budget.
About the Author: George Rebstrum is an adviser on recycling for businesses. He writes articles on waste disposal system, recycling techniques and sustainable health and safety measurements. If you take interest in waste management initiatives, follow Miltek-uk.co.uk and read the latest news. To know what George is going to cover in his next article , follow him on Google plus.