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Whether you’re a student or a professional, you’re probably using a lot of paper to write your homework or print official documents. But what do you do once you don’t need them anymore? 

Some people like to keep their old papers for filing purposes while others like to dispose of them right away. If you fall under the latter category, you’ve probably explored several options to go about document disposal. In the past, perhaps you’ve just thrown them in the trash and called it a day. Maybe you’ve thought about donating them for recycling. 

If you want to throw away unwanted papers in an environmentally friendly manner, a great solution is to shred them. Here’s why.

 

The Benefits of Shredding Paper

Many people ask: is shredding paper eco-friendly? The short answer is yes, it is! This approach to disposing of paper offers great benefits to yourself and the environment overall. To give you a better idea, here is a list of advantages you can expect from shredding paper.

Forest Destruction Reduction

An insurmountable number of forest trees are chopped down every year to produce new paper to cater to people’s paper demand. Trees play an integral role in giving off oxygen, improving air quality, and ultimately, supporting the global ecosystem.

Shredding paper can reduce the number of trees that need to be chopped down for paper. Recycled shredded paper allows people to get the paper that they need without causing significant damage to the forests. 

Increased Compost Potential

Besides being reused as paper, shredded documents can also be transformed into compost. Through recycling, organizations can convert old paper into a rich organic material that can be used in soils and plants. 

Landfill Reduction

Due to the amount of recycling that you can do as a result of shredding paper, you can cut down on the amount of paper being thrown into landfills by up to 60%.

Lower Water Consumption

It’s not known to many, but producing new paper requires a lot of water. Generating just one pound of paper can require around six gallons of water to manufacture. Therefore, when you shred, recycle, and reuse paper, you can lower water consumption and reduce the number of fossil fuels.

 

The Process of Recycling Paper

Now that you can see how shredding paper can benefit the environment, it’s time to learn the step-by-step process of recycling it. 

1. Preparation

The first step is to prepare all the documents you need to shred. Once you’ve collected everything you need, you can shred them at home or find a commercial shredding company to do it for you. 

Pro tip: If you’re dealing with a large stack of papers, it’s better to leave the shredding to the professionals. However, if you want to shred your papers a little at a time, you can do that at home. After shredding your papers, transfer the shreds to a large container like a plastic bag.  

2. Sortation

Depending on where you live, the recycling guidelines for shredding paper may vary. Check with your local curbside program before throwing them in the recycling bin.

Once they’re obtained by your local garbage collection services, they will be separated from other paper materials like cardboard and newspaper grades. Afterward, they will be sent to the mill for the transformation step.

3. Transformation

The final step of the recycling process is transformation. At the mill, your shredded paper will go through machines known as pulpers. These machines release water and chemicals into the mix to break down your paper into fibers. 

The fibers are then rolled and dried and sent to various third parties to make new products. Apart from reused paper, shredded documents can be transformed into coffee filters, paper towels, and egg cartons.

 

The Environmental Impact of Shredding

To make just one ton of paper, private companies need to chop down at least 24 trees. Imagine how many trees are chopped every year to provide for the 31.5 million tons of paper Americans need for their printing and writing needs. 

By shredding and recycling paper, you can contribute to lessening the number of trees being cut. Through recycling, it’s possible to recover around 66% of the trees. In addition, it can also reduce waste in landfills. As a result, the simple act of shredding and recycling paper can reduce your harmful footprint on the environment.

Here at the Shredders, we have you covered on everything shredding-related. From shredding documents to destroying hard drives, our shredding services are designed to protect your business’s valuable information from getting into the wrong hands. Our process is environmentally friendly as we are committed to sustainable business practices

Get in touch with us today to learn more and to see how we can help!

 

FAQs

Are you interested to learn more about shredding, here are some common questions answered. 

What Type of Paper Is Eco-Friendly?

Among the many types of paper available in the market, tree-free paper is considered the most eco-friendly option. This is paper made from agricultural residues like husks, straws, fiber crops, bamboo, jute, hemp, and flax.

What Is the Most Eco-Friendly Copy Paper?

In terms of copy paper, the most eco-friendly options include recycled paper and FSC-Certified paper. 

On the one hand, recycled paper is paper made with a combination of pre and post-consumer paper, which are often discarded at the mill. On the other hand, FSC-Certified paper is not recycled, but it does abide by three considerations, namely, legal and social compliance, ecological conservation, and forest management and renewal.