For Recycling, Paper is King

Submitted by: Two Sides Australia 15/03/2018

The very first Global Recycling Day is set to launch this Sunday 18th of March calling on recycling products to be listed as a resource and reminding everyone of environmentally safe practices to properly dispose and recycle their waste.

Waste is an unattractive topic, however it’s not something that will go away if ignored. For many years, we have been hearing about recycling our waste, and here it is – the world’s very own recycling day.

When breaking down Australia’s practices it shows Aussies are environmentally conscious. To date, Australia’s implied recycling rate for all paper and paperboard reached 73.7%, ahead of Europe (71.5%) and the USA (66.8%) (AFPA, 2017).

Individual households are also doing their part to make a difference seeing people taking matters into their own hands with 95% of Australian households recycling or reusing their paper products (ABS, 2012). This includes all paper products including packaging material and printed communications. Australia’s newsprint, including newspapers, catalogues and magazines, recycling rate is 76.2% (News Media Works) compared with 72.8% in the USA (Paper Recycles). 

Although there have been improvements in individual households, the main driver of plastic waste stems from retailers, particularly in the supermarket sector. Plastic packaging has become detrimental to the environment because of the fossil fuels required to produce it and it can only be recycled once, as opposed to copy paper which can be recycled up to 7 times.

Aldi UK is attempting to instil change by pledging to reduce unnecessary packaging and plastics that damage the environment. This is in support of WRAP’s new cross-sector initiative, which aims to transform UK’s plastics system and tackle plastic pollution. In order to see any long-term change, plastic packaging should be replaced with paper globally as it is 100% biodegradable, renewable and recyclable.

Two Sides, a global campaign to help people gain a better understanding of why paper and print remains a versatile and sustainable communications medium, is welcoming Global Recycling Day with open arms. “When we talk about environmental improvements we must focus on the science, banning single-use plastic is one thing, however without a replacement product consumers are likely to make a poorer environmental choice. Paper is a highly recyclable product and once recycled over and over again can then be used for egg cartons, newsprint, sanitary products, tissue and toilet papers. This Global Recycling Day calling on recyclables to be recognised as a resource is a good idea and well supported by Two Sides globally,” commented Kellie Northwood, Executive Director, Two Sides Australia and New Zealand.

The Two Sides initiative has been working diligently to demystify the myths and stigma around paper communications in a digital world, and Global Recycling Day contributes to being one step closer to an environmentally sustainable world.

With Global Recycling Day in place, Two Sides encourages environmental thinking beyond the 18th March and into every office, every day. “We urge companies to not implement schemes under the claim of ‘being environmental’ when those programs are not supported by science. ‘Go Green, Go Paperless’ is one claim we have consistently, and successfully, tackled for some years across the world and not one company has been able to provide the science to support going paperless is a better environmental outcome. This is one example there are many more and as corporate citizens we need to implement environmental, including recycling, programs that deliver real benefit to the environment,” Northwood concluded.

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