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Paper is something we use everyday, in so many different ways. We read the newspapers and magazines, we write letters, we print things, and we buy food that has paper packaging. It is everywhere. Generally paper is made from cellulose fibre, which can be pulped from wood, or other materials such as rags, grasses, straw or waste paper. In this country, virgin paper (from wood) is the most commonly used.


The origins of paper date back to about 105AD, when paper was produced from rags by Ts'ai Luin, who was part of the Eastern Han Court of the Chinese Emperor Ho Ti.

What Can be Re used and Recycled?

Newspapers, office paper, letters, magazines, leaflets, mixed/coloured paper and cardboard can all be re used or recycled. Yellow pages, windowed envelopes and some junk mail are harder to recycle. Contact your local authority to see what alternative options there are for these items.

Paper Recycling Box

Funky Facts

* About one fifth of the contents of household dustbins consist of paper and card.

* Paper is biodegradable which means when it goes to landfill it produces methane (a greenhouse gas).

* Average households throw away 8.5kg of paper every week.

* Paper is Latin for 'papyrus', which in the hands of the Egyptians comprised the pith of a grass like plant, which was sliced into layers and beaten or pressed into sheets.

* Paper is 100% recyclable.

* Although recycling paper is both economically and ecologically sound, recovered paper cannot be used in all paper grades, nor can it be used indefinitely. Every time it is recycled it loses its strength and quality.

* Paper and board forms the basis of about 40% of all packaging.

* Paper is generally called board when it weighs more than 220 grams per square metre.

* Producing recycled paper involves between 28-70% less energy consumption than virgin paper.



* Photocopy, write, and print on both sides of paper.

* Send emails rather than letters and faxes.

* Use scrap paper for the fax machine, writing notes, internal memos etc.

* Buy recycled paper and stationery.

* Buy loose food rather than packaged.

* Donate old magazines to waiting rooms.

* Reuse envelopes.

* The Mailing Preference Service is free. Pop your name on it and your name gets removed from mailing lists, therefore reducing the amount of junk mail you receive. Check out

or call 0207 291 3310

For second use ideas for newspapers click the link below:

Newspaper Uses

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