Recycled Paper Fact Sheet

Types of Paper That Can Be Recycled

  • Most paper products can be recycled i.e. newspapers, books, color print, magazines, envelopes and gloss print
  • Cardboards, cardboard boxes, manila folders and egg cartons
  • Ledger paper, business cards, telephone books, shredded paper and computer printouts

Materials That Are Not Recyclable

  • Tissues and paper towels
  • Waxed paper products (like waxed cardboard cartons)
  • Paper cups, carbon paper and plastic coated paper

What Types of Paper Should You Buy?

  • Buy recycled paper with a maximum post-consumer waste content.
  • Buy Australian made paper that is certified AFS/PEFC (PEFC is an internationally recognised certification body) or if not in Australia buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper to ensure that the fibre comes from forests that are sustainably managed.
  • Buy tree free paper made from agricultural residue (cotton, hemp, flax, kenaf, etc).
  • Buy any combination of the above.

Terminology

Recycled content: Content made from reprocessed waste materials. Recycled content is usually measured as a percent of total weight.

Post-consumer content: Material that has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and is reconstituted into post-consumer recycled fibre.

Pre-consumer content: By-products generated after the manufacturing process is completed and then reconstituted into pre-consumer recycled content.

Paper labelled as "recycled paper" does not necessarily mean it is 100% recycled paper, it could mean anything from 100 percent true recycled paper (great!) to one per cent remanufactured ends of large paper rolls (not that much help). Look for the percentage and type of recycled content, which you should find next to the recycled symbol; e.g.

Recycle25% pre-consumer content
75% post-consumer content

The more "post-consumer" recycled content the better.

Chlorine free paper: Chlorine compounds are still used in some paper mills to bleach paper pulp. Dioxins, produced in the chlorine bleaching process, are a persistent organic pollutant and one of the most dangerous substances known to science.

Avoid elemental chlorine bleached paper - ONLY BUY TOTALLY CHLORINE FREE (TCF) OR PROCESS CHLORINE FREE (PCF) PAPER (the product may contain recycled material, which may have originally been chlorine bleached).

What Difference Does Recycling Paper Make?

Every tonne of paper recycled saves almost 13 trees, 4,100 kilowatts of electricity and more than 30,000 litres (7,900 gallons) of water.

Where Can You Find Recycled Paper?

Google your local recycled paper provider.


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