As I write this much of the UK is in a state of drought. This has led some people to suggest that we should give up on paper because paper production uses too much water.
Less paper, more water to put on the rose bushes.
In fact, that isn’t quite true because, unlike roses in the garden, paper production reuses the water it takes in – and in fact the paper industry has dramatically reduced its water use over the years, and we now use far less water in making paper than in the past 100 years.
In the 1970s producing 1 tonne of pulp required something around 250 cubic meters of water – now it only takes around 25 cubic meters of water – which by my calculations is a reduction of around 90%. Much of this reduction is due to the more efficient use of water circulation in the manufacturing process.
Minerals from the wood always make it necessary to discharge some amount of water used, but this is then purified in waste water treatment facilities. But most of the water goes round and round.
In fact, talking of going round and round, it is a fact that paper is the most recycled material in Europe with over 50% of the paper made coming from recycling. Two thirds of the paper in use across the continent is collected for recycling and nine tenths of the corrugated boxes in Europe are made from recycled fibre. 90% of our newspapers are printed on recycled paper.
Better still, those rates are still rising, and when fibres can’t be used any further they are converted into renewable or green energy, so they go around and around that way.
But still, just under one fifth of the paper we use is not available for recycling – because we store it. Which is what Admiral does – we store paper. Books, documents and photographs. (Of course not all the paper that is not available for recycling is stored – cigarette papers aren’t because they are burned. But that is another problem.)
For more information give us a call on 0800 783 9516. Alternatively there’s more information about our storage facility on our website.