Pros and cons of recycling paper

Written by dee davies
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Pros and cons of recycling paper
Recycling paper generally benefits the environment but it's not without a few disadvantages. (rseanor/iStock/Getty Images)

Recycling paper is a way for householders, schools and a variety of businesses to save money. Paper product recycling programmes and eco-friendly habits also benefit the environment in many ways. While saving money and engaging in eco-friendly practices are definitely advantages of recycling, the practice of recycling paper products also comes with a few drawbacks.

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Pro: Saves money

One of the advantages of recycling paper is the money it can save. Individuals can double the use of a sheet of printer paper by turning the sheet over and using the other side to print or write on. Re-use sheets of paper as scratch paper for children to draw on, as shopping lists, or shred them for papier mache crafts. Cut them into smaller pieces to use as an all-purpose scratch paper around the home and office. Wrap old newspaper around fragile objects to protect them while they are in storage. Wrap fragile objects with old newspapers to protect them during delivery. Use old newspaper to clean windows to a lint and streak-free shine. Paper product recycling helps businesses save on overhead costs. Businesses that offer online billing spend less on invoice paper and envelopes. Both businesses and customers subsequently save on postage costs.

Con: More expensive paper

One of the disadvantages of recycled paper is the cost. Recycled paper products are often more expensive than freshly manufactured paper. The increased cost is due to the extra energy the manufacturer uses for transporting and recycling the paper.

Con: Collection costs

Another disadvantage of recycling paper is the overhead cost associated with running a paper product recycling centre. A recycling centre requires storage facilities, storage bins, office furniture, computers, office supplies and employees to collect and store the paper. While paper product recycling programmes create jobs, they also result in added overhead operating costs. Privately owned and operated recycling centres may charge a fee for the service. A programme run by the local council will have its facility-operating costs paid for by local taxes.

Pro: Environmental benefits

Paper product recycling saves trees. Trees reduce the carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the earth's environment. Trees turn the carbon dioxide into oxygen. Trees are necessary for clean air. Recycling paper keeps the paper out of landfill dumps where it can release ink toxins into the soil and groundwater.

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