10 facts about 85 million pounds of paper waste
Written by: Austin Layton on September 21, 2020
Going digital and reducing unneeded paper will help reduce landfills and preserve forests
Going paperless in groups and in our personal life will minimize our waste footprint
It may come as a surprise as to how much paper gets thrown away. It is easy to print off documents at work or school and not think twice about it. But how much of those paper documents are actually needed? These 10 facts from 2018 show the impact that paper use has.
- Each Year 85 Million Tons of Paper Waste Are Created
- That comes out to about 680 pounds per person. Change to paperless billing for utilities and other services when possible.
- 70% of Waste from Offices is Paper
- How much of this could be sent in an email or posted on a work website to share instead? Of this office waste, it was found that nearly 45% is thrown away before the day ends.
- 40% of Landfill Waste is Paper
- Most of this paper could be recycled if disposed of properly, but ultimately ends up in landfills where it doesn’t get a second life.
- 13% of Landfill Waste Comes From Newspapers
- While most get their news online nowadays, some may not know that popular newspapers also offer digital subscriptions to the same content. This would help reduce the need to print paper copies.
- The Average Office Worker Goes Through 30,000 Sheets of Paper per Year
- Encourage yourself and others to scan and email instead of print and mail.
- A Single Document is Photocopied 19 Times on Average
- As the office environment becomes more remote and digital, most workers will not have a photocopier at home, and will move to a culture of scanning physical prints when needed.
- 4 Million Tons of Junk Mail Goes Into Landfills
- Check to see if your junk mail senders have a way to opt out. If not, make sure to recycle this paper so it doesn’t go to a landfill.
- 21 Billion Tons of Paper are used by American Businesses Annually
- Technology has rapidly changed in 2020 but there is still work to be done. Companies that haven’t made the switch can look to focus more on cloud solutions such as Office 365 and Google Drive to eliminate the need for paper.
- A Ton of Paper Takes 380 Gallons of Oil to Produce
- It might not come as a known problem to some, but the worlds of paper waste and fossil fuel consumption are related. With so much oil being needed to produce paper, it's easy to see the rippling effect that reducing paper demand would have across the world.
- Going Digital Can Save 728,000 Trees
- With more trees being saved, the carbon impact on our world will also be reduced. Next time you are thinking of printing something, ask yourself if there is a digital solution instead.
If you are looking for a way to save paper in your daily life, take a look at our LCD Writing Tablet on the Wiser Water marketplace. This tool can replace your notepad or post-it notes and springboard you to further paper reduction.
Sources: “10 Paper Waste Facts You Need to Know” by: Saphia Lanier at Eversign. Published on November 28, 2018.