Recycling Printed Paper & Cardboard

Recycling Printed Paper & Cardboard

Paper and cardboard items can easily be recycled. By doing so, you can support the environment and push for the sustainable use of used materials, all while preventing the generation of unnecessary waste. 

Give it a new life

Did you know that old paper can be a raw material input for new paper and cardboard? In the UK, around 80% of paper comes from recycled paper. Recycling your paper waste is part of the sustainability challenge, and it can support the transition toward a circular economy.

When recycling paper, you are supporting the environment by

  • Pushing for the sustainable use of used materials
  • Reducing the need to extract new natural resources
  • Minimising energy and water consumption
  • Reducing the emissions of Greenhouse gases (GHG)
  • Preventing unnecessary waste

Paper and cardboard items can be easily recycled, and they can usually be collected in local recycling containers or recycling facilities. Generally speaking, any paper that is coated with wax, foil or plastic cannot be recycled. Make sure your paper or cardboard is not contaminated with other kinds of waste such as food, water and chemicals when recycling.

Making paper from paper

Did you know that paper and cardboard can be recycled up to 7 times? After that, the paper fibres become weak and cannot be recycled again. Transforming your old paper or cardboard into a new one is quite straightforward, and it can be done in five easy stages

  1. The first step is the crucial one: recycle your paper by putting it in the correct recycling bin. 
  2. From there onwards, the paper goes on a journey to the paper mill, which mixes paper and cardboard with water to create the pulp. 
  3. The pulp is filtered to eliminate unwanted large contaminants, such as adhesive and small plastics. 
  4. The pulp moves on to the de-inking process of recycling, where dyes and inks are removed from the pulp. This process is done to keep the paper as white as possible. 
  5. After drying, we created a raw material to produce new cardboard and paper without the need for extraction of new materials. 

How to recycle our paper products

At HelloPrint, you’re in for it all. We offer a nearly infinite range of paper materials you can print on, which might make knowing how to recycle your custom paper print sometimes tricky. The basic rules for paper recycling mentioned above still apply and should help you find which paper materials you can dispose of in the paper recycling bin and which ones not. To make your life a little bit easier, we summarised it below:

Be selective 

Do you really need all that extra glitter or lamination on your flyers? Think about this next time you order advertising print for your company. In the UK, it is currently not possible to recycle paper that comes with coatings, lamination and embellishments, as our recycling facilities lack the technology to do so. In the meantime, we encourage you to proactively decide on a recyclable material and contribute towards reducing waste and supporting circularity.  

If you want to learn more about sustainable practices for commercial print materials, check out our articles on why recycling commercial print materials is important and how to reduce and reuse commercial print.