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Is Paper Recycling Worth It?

environmentally friendly

13% of Americans don’t recycle at all. Even those who do recycle can be confused about what should and should not be recycled.  Yet when it comes to the climate crisis, recycling is a great way to take individual action.  

Not all recycling is good for the environment.  Is Recycling Worth It? The Answer Might Surprise You (  For instance, it likely costs more (both economically and environmentally) to recycle glass and plastic materials than it’s worth. 

That’s why experts suggest focusing our recycling efforts on materials such as aluminum, paper, and cardboard.  The costs are lower and the environmental benefits higher. For example, recycling one ton of paper saves 7,000 gallons of water, 17 trees, and 463 gallons of oil! 

Manufacturing products from recycled materials, especially when cardboard and paper are involved, is much more cost-effective. It reduces strain on the environment, the economy, and recycling centers. In fact, 90% of the benefits derived from recycling come from recycling paper, cardboard, and aluminum.  

How Does It Work? 

Each scrap of recycled paper counts. For starters, it decreases the need for disposal. When you recycle paper, it avoids taking up landfill space (or burning it, which adds CO2 to the atmosphere.) 

It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This helps slow climate change. By recycling paper, you also contribute to the reduction of energy and water consumption.  

You can recycle more types of paper than you realize: 

  • Corrugated containers. This often comes in the form of boxes, such as product packaging from online orders, cereal boxes, and so forth.  
  • Mixed paper. Ever get tired of receiving junk mail? In many cases, you can recycle it. This category often includes catalogs, magazines, mail, phone books, and so forth.  
  • Old newspapers. Are you still reading physical copies of the newspaper? Recycling mills can use that material to make tissues, more newspapers, and so forth. 
  • High-grade deinked paper. Do you go through a lot of office supplies? Consider recycling envelopes, copy paper, and letterhead. If the ink has been removed, then it’s safe to recycle.  

These are all great options for reducing strain on the environment.  

How Can I Recycle Paper Near Me? 

If you are looking to recycle paper, start by finding a local recycling center. In most cases, you’ll be able to Google “recycling centers near me”. If you prefer an analog approach, look for printed materials from local government or recycling centers.  

Then, you can map out a plan to drop off your recycling periodically. Often, the main barrier to action is simply not knowing what to do. Now that you know what to recycle, and where you can recycle, you’ll be set! 

At NORPAC, our emphasis on recycling and sustainable practices helps create a safer planet. To learn more about what we do, contact us today!