Paper collection and recycling service provider Rainbow Paper Management, part of JSE-listed Metrofile Holdings, was urging South African businesses to realise the environmental and business benefits of recycling unwanted paper.
Rainbow Paper divisional director Dorota Boltman said on Tuesday that paper consumption was expected to increase. She pointed to predictions by the World Wide Fund for Nature that, by 2020, total paper consumption would increase from the current 400-million tons to between 450-million and 500-million tons.
“Recycling at work helps reduce the environmental impact of the organisation because it means the paper can be used again in new products and applications, instead of simply going to landfill space,” she said, adding that paper waste accounted for 35% of global municipal landfill space.
Industrialised paper use also negatively effected the environment through deforestation. As about 90% of paper pulp was made of wood, about 35% of all trees felled were used for paper production.
Boltman said that, regardless of their size, every company used paper and every company had an opportunity to make a difference towards saving the environment for future generations.
The benefits of recycling paper included a cleaner environment; job creation; reduced costs to local authorities; decreased need to import raw materials; and freeing up space at landfill sites.
“Recycling also enhances a company’s image and can even result in increased customer loyalty as the organisation becomes a preferred business partner as it is known to be environmentally conscious,” she added.
Further, recycling could enhance employee morale, as staff would be proud of belonging to an environment-conscience organisation, she concluded.