Paper Waste a Gold Mine for Publishers
In addition to taking a comprehensive approach to paper waste management, the BBC closes the loop on recycling by specifying recycled content in the office paper it buys. In addition, it requires the paper that BBC Wildlife Magazine is printed on to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (TinyURL.com/ATOU).
Waste of any kind represents lost profits, and inefficient use of resources. Publishers should take note of the growing use of paper in their businesses, and the rising pile of paper waste they are responsible for.
Paper waste reduction and fiber recovery reduce pollution and greenhouse gasses associated with the manufacture, transportation, and disposal of paper. According to the National Recycling Coalition, one ton of recycled paper uses 64% less energy, 50% less water, 74% less air pollution, saves 17 trees, and creates five times more jobs than a ton of paper products from virgin wood pulp.
The recycling and reuse industry in the United States consists of 56,000 establishments that employ 1.1 million people, generate an annual payroll of $37 billion, and gross $236 billion in annual revenues.
Recycled paper and paperboard mills have 139,375 employees, and generate $49 billion in annual receipts. Spending by employees of the recycling and reuse industry also contributes indirectly to economic well being, and adds another 1.5 million jobs with a payroll of $41 billion, producing receipts of $146 billion.
The recycling and reuse industry also generated roughly $12.9 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues, with 80% going to federal and state government.
Even if publishers can't make a business case for increasing recycled content in their products, making simple changes in how they use paper and handle waste can save money, and make a difference.
One way to cut paper use is to reduce office paper basis weight from 20 lb. to 18 lb. Other simple techniques: print duplex instead of simplex. Use electronic forms instead of paper forms. And use short-run, print-on-demand, and digital-printing technologies, instead of long-run offset printing.