Recycling statistics: facts and figures

Waste disposal and recycling in the workplace have become prominent issues that need addressing; according to Businesswaste, 31% of companies they surveyed admitted that they were using more paper than they were five years ago. Recycling statistics show that as much as 80% of consumed office paper is completely wasted, with only 7.5% of office paper waste reaching a recycling centre. Unfortunately, the long-term environmental impacts of this are not positive, resulting in increased office waste and a call for more effective waste collection and increased global recycling.

World recycling statistics like this only highlight how easy it can be to do more for the environment by recycling business waste and adopting this practice into everyday office life. Suggested solutions to this issue are to print paper double sided, which already reduces the waste by 50% through one simple, yet effective change. This is also at little to no extra cost or effort to your business.

It's not just paper that needs recycling. Mobile phone recycling statistics and electronics recycling statistics can also be improved by making small but conscious efforts to direct more of your waste disposal to a recycling centre.

Why is recycling important?

You can change your impact on the environment directly by helping increase UK recycling levels by adopting a number of different and simple strategies in your office, workplace and overall environment. These can help make a difference in significantly bringing down global recycling facts and statistics.

The UK recycling rate was at 17% in 2008. However, ten years later, in 2018, statistics show that it has increased to a 39% recycling rate. This is one of most promising in Europe, with Austria being the aim with their 63% recycling rate. This is promising proof of a positive and continuous adopted change to how we handle our waste and proves why is recycling important.

Here are some interesting office waste recycling statistics:

  • According to Rubicon, 9/10 people who they surveyed said that they would follow the advice of recycling symbols if it was 'easier'. Fortunately, reducing your office waste through recycling could not be any simpler, especially if you clearly lay out ‘what is recycling’ to your staff and educate them on recycling pollution statistics, recycling symbols and recycling facts UK-wide. Some steps you can take are to reduce the number of bins in order to cut down on unnecessary business waste; have a designated recycling bin; print documents double sided; recycle ink cartridges, and avoid using disposable materials such as coffee cups, milk stirrers and plastic plates, putting them in the designated recycling bin if you do choose to use them. 
  • 70% of total office waste is suitable for recycling, however, only 7.5% reaches the recycling centre. Is there any explanation as to why 67.5% of recyclable waste ends up in a landfill site when it doesn't need to be? The short answer is 'no'. The solution is just to think more about waste collection and implement small recycling changes which will result in a big difference to the environment, and improved global recycling statistics. Landfill sites are not just lost land due to waste; they emit poisonous greenhouse gases, including methane which is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide - an extortionate statistic that does not need to exist.
  • Recycling statistics tell us that as much as 80% of office waste is paper. How much of this is necessary?  With 76% of people surveyed by ORS Group admitting to printing out unrelated documents and pages, surely there are obvious ways to cutdown on this business waste? A simple solution, which will have a positive effect on global recycling facts and statistics, is to encourage the use of digital communication. This has been implemented by the Bank of America, which has resulted in reducing its paper consumption by 25% by simply implementing online forms and contracts, printing double sided, and by purchasing thinner paper. How hard can that be for other businesses to adopt this into their recycling plan?
  • It's not just direct harm and inconvenience to the environment which pollution brings; the effect is also extended to the wider earth community, including marine life. In fact, over 100,000 marine animals die every year from plastic entanglement or ingestion. This is a devastating figure for which there is no excuse. Most office waste is paper, meaning it is decomposable and very easily recycled. Reducing your business waste and implementing a recycling scheme for different types of office waste will make a huge difference to worldwide and UK recycling as well as boosting mobile phone recycling statistics and electronics recycling statistics. 

To find out how you can reduce your business waste costs and lower your impact on the environment by using a waste baler or compactor in your recycling routine, request our Wastesaving Audit or contact phs Wastekit today.

*Source for statistics: Rubicon Global

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