Perhaps less so than in years gone by, but if one thing is a constant in offices, it’s paperwork. Although most workplaces have moved to a more electronic way of working, paper still features in memos, signs and print outs.
And with security and environmental issues constantly making headlines, how can you be sure your workplace is doing its bit?
Here are some tips on how you can reduce office paper wastage, and improve the way you sort and dispose of paperwork in your working environment.
Why and how should you recycle office paper?
Despite being one of the easier materials to recycle, an estimated 5 million tonnes of paper finds its way to land fill or is incinerated every year. With that in mind, many offices are choosing to ramp up their recycling efforts as they look to reduce their carbon footprints.
If you want to help the environment a little further, why not begin or improve your workplace’s recycling efforts?
To get started, it’s a good idea to invest in a few boxes or bins that can be used to separate different paper. Coloured paper should go in one box, with white in another. Newspapers and glossy magazines can go into another box.
Most waste disposal services will be able to collect recycling waste, so recycling paper doesn’t have to require a massive amount of resource.
What about confidential information?
Whether it’s financial details, personal data or private company information, confidentiality is a huge consideration for offices.
It’s important therefore to ensure any such data is destroyed before your paper recycling leaves the premises. A paper shredder is a vital piece of kit for any modern workplace, allowing you to easily destroy confidential information.
As well as simplifying the data protection process, shredding also saves time; you can quickly shred a high volume of paper, which can be helpful in larger workplaces with lots of waste paper.
For smaller pieces, or if you just need to hide a little amount of information (such as an address), a security roller or stamp is a useful gadget to have. This enables you to cover data or information with a block of black ink, effectively hiding it from prying eyes.
Data protection plays a huge part in the modern-day workplace, so it’s massively important to make sure you take care of confidential paperwork in the correct way. To ensure nothing slips through the net, put a system in place for your paper recycling process.
You can assign boxes for each different type of paper to be collected in, and then delegate the job of shredding to a member of staff. If resource is an issue, perhaps set up a rota so that the task is shared on a daily or weekly basis.
Another good idea is to hold an awareness day or meeting, emphasising the importance of paper disposal and recycling. This can be a great way to get your colleagues and workforce on board, and encourage them to think about their paper usage.
Tips for reducing paper use and consumption
When it comes to paper, we’re all about the environment. Cutting down on needless paper usage can help to reduce the impact your workplace has, as well as saving money. And it’s easier than you might think.
Here are our top tips for decreasing the amount of paper you use in the office:
- Only print when it’s really necessary. If an internal email gets the point across, why waste paper?
- Print on both sides of the paper. This obviously won’t work if you need to pin a notice to the wall, but if you usually print on one side, switching to double sided printing will half your paper consumption in an instant
- Use margins and smaller fonts to fit more onto one sheet. The more you can fit onto a single piece of paper, the less you’ll need to print. Drop your text a size or two, and widen the margins to maximise the space
- Re-use paper for notes and scrap. Need to quickly jot down a phone number or message? A stack of otherwise unusable paper is a great way to cut down waste, and reduces the number of fresh sheets wasted
Even if you’re looking to reduce your workplace waste, sometimes paper usage is unavoidable. But by following the above tips and making a conscious effort to recycle paper where possible, you can help to cut costs and do your bit for the environment.