How Recyclable is Paper?

August 21, 2023

Societies have always recycled; it just didn’t look the same as it does today. The reuse of all types of materials was broadly practiced, and it has become more accessible and easily accomplished for larger societies. Single-use items are phasing out across the world in favor of recyclable goods. Limiting waste in landfills and conserving natural resources is high priority.

When considering paper recyclability, the first question is what kind of materials we are talking about. The process is similar: All beginning with a collection from households, businesses, or other sources before type and quantity sorting. Then breaking down the paper fibers into pulp, removing any contaminants, and forming new paper products from the recycled pulp. This process can be done several times over.

The United States recycles roughly 65% of paper products each year.

There are, of course, limitations to paper recycling. As the number of times paper fibers are broken down increases, the fibers get shorter and ultimately reach a point where they can no longer be woven into new paper. The solution here is to interlace longer fibers of new paper or less recycled paper. This does affect the quality of the paper but is overall favorable for its environmental impact.

Recyclability accessibility is equally as important as the physical process of recycling paper. The uniform guidelines and symbols have created a uniform approach in the simplest manner. By taking the process out of the consumers’ hands, it’s easier to get people to participate. Although we have always reused materials, it is not so easy to break down paper fibers into pulp at home.

Recyclability is becoming increasingly more important as the world seeks to limit waste. Paper is highly recyclable and one of the most recycled materials. There are more than 5,000 products that can be made from recycled paper. Resource conservation and waste reduction are universal top priorities.

Calitho is a commercial printer and visual communications company serving clients across the U.S. Let us help with your next printing project by requesting a quote today.