Recycled paper reduces landfill - Recycled Papers

Reduce landfill

Waste paper

In Europe, 1 kilo of waste per person per day is produced; a figure that is constantly increasing (source: Eurostat). Unless this waste can be recycled or reused in some way, waste will end up in landfill or incineration. Paper and cardboard recycling is pioneering: collection rates have now reached as high as 72% in Europe (source: Confederation of European Paper Industries), positioning paper at the top of the list of most commonly recycled materials.

The driving force behind this recovery rate is the demand and subsequent production of recycled papers for a variety of end uses.

  • Recycling 17 tonnes of paper in the UK and avoiding landfill saves 5 tonnes of carbon emissions per year – that’s the equivalent to 500,000 party balloons filled with CO2.
  • Paper biodegrading in landfill creates methane which is 23 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide.
  • Landfill has been found to contribute to as much as 50-75% of the total carbon emissions over a typical paper lifecycle.

Our role in diverting waste from landfill

Arjowiggins Graphic is a major manufacturer of recycled paper and currently supplies 40% of the European Market due to its high quality brands and green strategy.

Waste paper is collected from waste recycling points both in France and the UK, (in the region of 20% of its waste paper is collected from the UK, thus helping to reduce UK landfill) and carries out its industrial recycling within close proximity of its mills, in order to cut down on transport-related carbon emissions. This allows 50% of Greenfield mills output to be used within 100-km-wide vicinity.

Collection of local waste paper in France is possible due to strong partnerships forged over the years with associations and local districts, such as the Le Bourray site.  This initiative is one way in which Arjowiggins Graphic can fulfil its social responsibility at a local level.

Reusing waste from pulp and paper manufacturing

The main types of waste generated in the paper-manufacturing process are waste water residue that results from treating paper mill effluents, and de-inking residue inevitably produced during the process of manufacturing recycled paper. Neither is toxic, but the waste generated requires special treatment.

Arjowiggins Graphic realised the practical and economic advantage of reducing its waste some time ago. In five years, Arjowiggins Graphic has reduced the residue produced at its mills by streamlining certain processes in order to reduce the consumption of raw materials.

Today, 90% of the residue produced by Arjowiggins Graphic is put to agricultural use (composting and spreading), or used as a raw material to produce cement and bricks. Heated to a high temperature, the cellulose fibres contained in paper mill residue burn and improve the porosity of bricks. A brick produced in this way will have better soundproofing and insulation qualities than a traditional brick.

Benefitting the community

Recycling paper creates employment. On average, ten times more jobs are involved in recycling items of waste rather than dumping waste at a rubbish tip, so recycling creates many more jobs per tonne of waste and generates a flow of materials that is capable of supplying the industry.

 “As already 15 – 25% of the waste paper used in the entire production process at our Greenfield mill is sourced from the UK, it was a natural step for us to guarantee to our customers that for all the recycled content of our papers sold in the UK we are sourcing its waste paper equivalent volume from the UK. This means that we will be limiting the impact of our papers on landfill, something that is especially high on the sustainability agenda in the UK.
Agnes Roger, CEO, Arjowiggins Graphic