No matter what size a business is, it produces a lot of paper waste that is thrown away in the rubbish bin. There are many different ways of reducing paper waste in an office, the most obvious is recycling. It is easy to forget that there are also other ways to reduce waste, e.g. re-using and sharing.
Here are a few ways of reducing office paper waste:
- Reuse paper that has been used on one side for scrap paper and draft work
- Shred or Recycle unnecessary reports and files – Instead of throwing away old documents, shred them and reuse them as packing material in shipments
- Make fewer copies – Share copies and don’t make more copies than you need
- Print or copy on both sides – When making copies, set your machine to use both sides of paper and cut your consumption in half
- Distribute memos via email – Instead of printing out memos for distribution, email them and let employees decide whether or not they wish to print them.
- Help minimize misprints by posting a diagram on how to load special paper like letterhead so it will be printed correctly
- Use reusable inter- and intra-office envelopes
- Proof read documents on screen and preview before printing
Benefits of reducing the use of paper
- Storage and handling – Paper is bulky to store, in boxes or in file cabinets. By using fewer sheets, you can put storage space to more productive use
- Mailing costs – Fewer paper mailed may mean reduced postage. Copying onto both sides of the paper means fewer paper used and less weight of paper in envelope
- Environmental benefits – By increasing double-sided copying offices could reduce annual paper use by at least 20%. By using and discarding less paper, you are conserving resources, reducing water and energy use, and preventing pollution.