Simple paper recycling rules from the ERPC

Jun 6, 2013

Have you ever held a plastic spiral notebook or a used pizza box and wondered if it should go in the recycling bin? Did a windowed envelope end up in your waste bin because you didn’t have time to cut the window out, thinking that it should be removed? The European Paper Recovery Council (ERPC) recently published a poster with nine simple rules for paper recycling, which answers the above questions and more.

This campaign targets offices in particular, where paper can make up 90% of the waste generated. Often half the amount of paper an employee uses a year ends up as waste rather than being recycled. By diverting paper products from landfill and incineration, carbon is saved, and the life of fibres is extended over multiple life cycles.

The rules are simple and can make a big difference if applied. Even though currently every year 70% of all used paper in the EU is recycled, about 10 million tonnes of paper are still potentially available for recycling, enough to fill 100 football stadiums! There are many reasons for this, but one of them is ignorance as to how paper for recycling should be collected.

For example, many do not know that paper should not be shredded, as fibres are damaged, adding an unnecessary cost. There is no need to remove staples, paper clips etc from paper as the recycling processes are designed to remove them. You didn’t know about this either? Now you do! So next time you have doubts on whether or not a piece of paper is recyclable or not, just take a look at these 9 rules and act accordingly. You will participate in the creation of a more sustainable world.

For more information, please contact the ERPC Secretariat, Jori Ringman-Beck, at +32 2 627 49 19, or visit