Paper products account for the vast majority of waste generated from office environments. This means that any company looking to make their daily operations more environmentally friendly can make a huge impact just by switching to recycled paper products. However, many companies are still resistant to doing so because they do not have all the facts and have perhaps formed some unfavorable preconceptions about recycled paper.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths surrounding recycled paper products and try to uncover the truth behind them.
Myth #1 – Recycled Paper Will Make My Business Appear Unprofessional
It is a very common misconception that recycled paper looks cheap and thus will give people a poor impression of your business. However, in reality this really depends on the paper that you choose. Recycled paper is now available in many different grades and levels of quality. You will find that paper intended for letterheads, business cards and brochures is much higher quality than that intended for tissues and notepads.
It is often impossible to tell if paper is recycled or not unless it is marked as such. In fact, with the current pressure on businesses to be more eco-friendly promoting the fact that your paper products are all recycled could create the right impression rather than the wrong one.
Myth #2 – Recycled Paper Harms Rather Than Helps The Environment
It is commonly suggested that while recycling paper saves trees, water and energy, the process creates a sludge like substance not created with traditional paper production. However, the majority of this sludge is non-toxic and even the small percentage that is toxic can be easily disposed of without causing harm.
Paper recycling definitely helps the environment much more than standard paper production. According to the EPA, paper that winds up in landfill sites produces methane gas which is one of the main contributors of global warming.
Myth #3 – Recycled Paper Is Too Expensive Especially Given Its Inferior Quality
It is actually true that recycled paper costs more than regular paper products. The price can be up to 20% higher. However, surely this cost is negligible when we consider the difference it makes to the environment? The quality issue is not actually an issue, as outlined in myth number one, recycled paper is available in a wide range of quality levels.
Myth #4 – Recycled Paper Can Cause Damage or Paper Jams In Printers And Other Devices
There is a very common misconception that recycled paper creates excess dust which will cause damage to printers, copiers and other machines. However, this is not actually a recycled paper issue, rather it is something that is caused by any low quality paper whether it is recycled or not. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you use a good quality paper and one intended for its purpose – e.g. use copier paper in the copier and so on. The same goes for paper jams, it is unlikely to be caused by recycled paper, just cheap paper.
Myth #5 – It Is Better To Buy Tree-free and Chlorine-free Paper
This one is actually a misuse of terms rather than a myth. Paper which is ‘tree-free’ is produced using alternative sources such as cotton or hemp fibers. Similarly ‘chlorine-free’ paper is simply paper that does not use chlorine in the bleaching process. Neither of these terms refer to recycling. These papers may not necessarily be recycled.
As you can see, many of the facts you thought you knew about recycled paper are untrue, or at the very least misleading. Your business can benefit from using recycled paper as long as you source a good quality paper that it is fit for purpose.
Stefan Loewer is a passionate writer and he writes for officeman.co.uk which helps small business owners find the best office suppliers.