30  Paper and office consumables
        This group of categories includes -

31  Paper and card
32  Confidential data
33  Books and publications
34  Unsolicited mail, faxes, emails and phonecalls
35  Office technical wastes including toner cartridges

Paper and office consumables - general information

The name 'paper' comes from the Latin papyrus.  The Egyptians sliced, beat and pressed this grass-like plant into sheets, and were writing on it in 3500 BC.  The first known use of paper was in China as early in AD105.  In early Britain paper was not known, and parchment was used, from animal skins, usually sheep.  Paper can be made from cotton, flax, esparto, straw, hemp, manilla and jute (source CPI).  

Today the main raw material for global paper manufacture is cellulose from woodpulp, usually produced from a monoculture forestry crop.  Monoculture forestry is a land use with very little ecological value in contrast to traditional mixed woodland.  Once the trees are produced, the major environmental impacts come from transportation and conversion of wood into pulp, by mechanical or chemical processes.  These impacts are reduced when modern processes are employed which minimise water and energy used, and minimise emissions to air and water: during the papermaking process the water content is reduced from 99% to 6%.  Some processes now completely avoid the use of chlorine.  

Waste (or recovered) paper is the most important raw material for the British paper and board industry.  Paper cannot be recycled more than 4 to 6 times because the fibres get damaged, lose their strength and get too short for paper-making.  Paper recycling is crucial in the UK due to the lack of forests - only 12% of the land  is forested.  Representing 68% of the fibre used in this sector in 2004, the paper industry is the UK's most successful recycler (Source CPI - see below).  However, the industry uses nearly 2% of the power consumed in the UK, and nearly 13% of all the water abstracted.  It also produces more than 400,000 tonnes of waste per year, largely paper sludge, which may go to landfill or be spread on farmland. (ENDS report 359 p7, 12/04)  

The message is - do recycle - but also, try to reduce use of paper, and buy recycled, checking the manufacturing processes employed by your supplier for both pulping and papermaking processes.  A very wide range of items can now be obtained in recycled paper and board, such as suspension files, box files, dividers and shorthand pads.

Over 6 million trees are felled for tissue products alone in North America each year.  
Over 200 billion tissues are thrown away each year into already overflowing 
landfills and seas throughout North America.
Source www.hankettes.com 

Information on sustainability of tissue production at 

Purchasing policies
Whilst stationery is very important, other products consumed in offices can have a considerable environmental impact.  Coffee and tea supplies can be planned so as to support fair trade efforts to sustain local environments in the southern hemisphere.  Vending machines, if used, can be carefully monitored to minimise energy use, and support food and drinks from sustainable producers.  If disposable cups must be used, there are companies which arrange for their recycling.  

Purchasing policies can also influence cleaning materials used, catering contracts, use of solvents, batteries, etc.  Electrical goods can be chosen to minimise energy use - and in the case of printers which will print double-sided, minimise the use of paper.

This is a brief introductory section listing a few major bodies who can supply information.  
For a list of organisations and businesses recycling and supplying paper, see section 31, Paper and Card


Computers were supposed to reduce paper use.  Make sure that all employees in an office are aware of the cost of taking copies and that everyone routinely uses ‘print preview’ and ‘shrink to fit’ facilities.   For when copying is needed, encourage double sided copying as routine.

Always ask for an assurance concerning the safety of second-hand equipment bought or donated.

Always power down computers, including screens, over night.  This will save money, reduce CO2 emissions, and could also protect you in case of a power surge.

Also see
Wood burning (14)
Charity and community schemes (130)
Scrapstores (140)
Recycling collections (private) (150)
Conversion to energy (180)
Recycled paper products (320)

Alphabetical list of organisations

Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE)
Tel 0208 977 6116  Fax 0208 977 6909 / 3122
Email  info@drinkscartons.com   Website  www.drinkscartons.com
Churcham House, 1 Bridgeman Road, TEDDINGTON, Middx TW11 9AJ
Contact  Jenny Francis                                                         

International coalition of ten manufacturers of paperboard and paper cartons who work together to promote consumer and environmental benefits of beverage cartons.  People can phone for or download labels (go to www.drinkscartons.com/docs/recycling_uk.htm and click on 'download here') to return beverage cartons for recycling - more information under Beverage Cartons in the editorial above.  In the UK, ACE works with environmental and industry partners in the areas of forestry and packaging.  Parent organisation based in Brussels.  More info on beverage cartons in section 51.  (Updated May 2004)

Aylesford Newsprint Ltd

Tel 01622 796000 / 796180  Fax 01622 796001 / 796427 / 792277
Email recycling@aylesford-newsprint.co.uk  info@aylesford-newsprint.co.uk  Website www.aylesford-newsprint.co.uk 
Newsprint House, Bellingham Way, AYLESFORD, Kent ME20 7DL

Europe's largest recycled newsprint mill, recovering over 500,000 tonnes per annum (one in seven) of used newspapers and magazines. These come from about 200 local authorities, waste management companies, paper merchants, printers, publishers and communities in about 100 lorries a day, and produce some 400,000 tonnes of recycled newsprint.  Comprehensive collection scheme covers the south of England and Wales via local contractors.  Supplies about 2000 paper collection banks of varying sizes.  An increasing number of loads are rejected due to contamination with broken glass.  Produces 100% recycled newsprint, sold under the Renaissance brand name and used by leading European newspaper publishers.  Many newspaper publishers are sited within 40 miles of the plant.  Operates Combined Heat & Power energy generating plant on site, covering needs of plant and about 34% supplied to the national grid and sold to local customers.  93% of water used is recycled.  Chemical use and emissions reduced over last few years.  Ethical purchasing policy.  Supports local biodiversity projects.  Jointly owned by SCA Forest Products and Mondi.   Several reports and publications including The Recycling Atlas for England & Wales.  370 employees on one site.  (Updated Aug 2005)

Biffa Waste Services
Tel 01494 521221 Freephone 0800 307 307 Fax 01494 463368
Coronation Road, Cressex , HIGH WYCOMBE, Bucks HP12 3TZ
E-Mail marketing@biffa.co.uk Website www.biffa.co.uk

Waste management subsidiary of Severn Trent plc, operating a national cardboard recycling scheme jointly with SCA Recycling, as well as office paper collection schemes.

Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI)
Tel 01793 889600  Fax 01793 878700
Website www.paper.org.uk  Email cpi@paper.org.uk 
1 Rivenhall Road, SWINDON, Wilts SN5 7BD 

UK trade federation for the paper and board manufacturing industries.  Founded Jan 2000, incorporates The Association of Soft Tissue Papers, British Recovered Paper Association, Corrugated Packaging Association, The Paper Federation of Great Britain.  Maintains a list of mills who produce recycled paper.  Supplies information and promotion for the paper industry about recycled paper products.  Factsheets on recycling, forestry, packaging, paper grades, why recycle? and recycling advice for businesses.  Seminars and training.  Website has 'Kids Korna' - including how to make your own paper.  (Updated Aug 2005)

Hammett Associates
Tel / Fax 01676 533832
Email info@sustainabledesign.co.uk 
Website www.sustainabledesign.co.uk,
Gate Farm, Fen End, Kenilworth CV8 1NW UK
Contact  Steve and Susan Hammett

Design consultancy offering a sustainable approach to communications decisions.  In addition to studio based creative design and illustration they offer nearly 20 years experience printing on recycled paper, environmental impact analysis of materials and processes, optimised use of materials, waste reduction and efficiency savings, and sustainable project development.  Tailored training in design related fields, with special focus on needs of non-specialist staff, including website design and maintenance, design for legibility and communication, information gathering and presentation, and sustainable design.  Visual and presentation design; web design, rescue and tuition; custom print and promotional products; business and professional stationary.  Website's design gallery shows examples of work including websites.  Studio has latest computer facilities, while a more traditional workshop prints business, personal, and custom-printed / promotional recycled products, including craft based letterpress printing.  Sister company Recycled Paper Supplies (see below) supplies recycled paper and stationary products mail order.  Free advice on this, graphic design and print requirements.  Very useful information and explanations about trees and environment, what recycled paper is, industry and recycled content certifications for paper materials, how to match paper and envelope sizes, paper and printing history, and faq's on paper quality, bleaching, economics - energy use and prices, and printing inks.  Small business - argues small scale processes are flexible and minimise waste, enquiries and orders receive personal attention.  Member of ethical junction (www.ethical-junction.org).  As a family, claims to produce as much of their own food as possible in an holistic, organic system where all waste is re-used.  Tries to apply this philosophy throughout home and work - 'for us, our grandchildren and the future of the planet.'  (Updated Feb 2004) 

Independent Waste Paper Processors Association
Tel 01327 703223 Fax 01327 300612
19 High Street, DAVENTRY, Northants NN11 4BG

Trade Association.  Also houses IWPP Ltd, which acts as a waste paper broker.

Kyocera Electronics (UK) Ltd

Tel 01189 311500 Fax 01734 311108
8 Beacontree Plaza, Gillette Way, READING, Berks RG2 0BP

Manufacture 'Ecosys' page printers - a more environment-friendly system able to use 100% recycled paper, and without printer cartridges.  It claims to provide good quality results at about a third the cost of most competitive products.  Among environmental best buys but poor ethical performance in April 2004 Ethical Consumer review of printer suppliers.  (Updated May 2004)

National Association of Paper Merchants (NAPM)
Tel 0115 841 2129
Website www.napm.org.uk 

Accredited trade association for paper and board wholesalers since 1920.  Represents the majority of companies (over 30) in UK.  Information service to members - organises debate, training courses, collates statistics.  Monitors and seeks to influence legislation.  Centre for enquirers seeking paper or board suppliers. Promotes the NAPM recycled paper mark for qualifying recycled papers, accredited to over 160 British brands.  Its use indicates the product contains a minimum 75% of paper and board waste fibre, no part of which should contain mill produced waste.  (Updated Aug 2005)

Paper Federation of Great Britain  see Confederation of paper Industries

Recycled Paper Supplies
Tel / Fax 01676 533832
Website www.recycled-paper.co.uk, http://rps.gn.apc.org/index.htm  
Email contact@recycled-paper.co.uk, enquiry@recycled-paper.co.uk  
Gate Farm, Fen End, KENILWORTH, Warwicks, CV8 1NW 
Contact  Steve & Susie Hammett

Very useful information and explanations about trees and environment, what recycled paper is, industry and recycled content certifications, how to match paper and envelope sizes, paper and printing history, and faq's on paper quality, bleaching, economics - energy use and prices, and printing inks.  Use their own 1-5 star environmental rating which, like HMSO, uses a 'scoring' system, but gives a higher score to category D waste, the largest and most easily reclaimed potential source of recycled fibre.  Comprehensive range of recycled paper, stationery, and office related products - from jiffy bags and string to cd sleeves, makers' materials to rulers and sharpeners - at reasonable prices, from recycled materials, with detailed information about waste content and uses.  Inexpensive samples and sample packs of most products, also suitable as gifts.  Simple online ordering and full alphabetical site index.  Also graphic design and print business (Hammett Associates, see above).  Studio has latest computers, while a more traditional workshop prints business, personal, custom-printed and promotional recycled products, including craft based letterpress printing.  Small business - argues small scale processes are flexible and minimise waste, enquirers receive personal attention.  Member of ethical junction (www.ethical-junction.org).  As a family, claims to produce as much of their own food as possible in an holistic, organic system where all waste is re-used.  Tries to apply this philosophy throughout home and work - 'for us, our grandchildren and the future of the planet.'   (Updated Feb 2004)

UK Cartridge Recycling Association
Tel 01706 525050  Fax 01706 647440
Email info@ukcra.com  Website www.ukcra.com 
11a Memorial Road, Walkden, MANCHESTER M28 3AQ

Trade association of printer cartridge recyclers. Aims through its members to promote and provide high quality, cost-effective recycled products that are environment-friendly alternatives to imported toner cartridges. Members who display the UKCRA rosette must abide by agreed codes of practice, including standards of remanufacture, labelling and packaging, general business practice, warranties, and accepting UKCRA mediation in any disputes with customers. Campaigns against products designed not to be recycled or repaired, as this adds to the already overloaded waste stream. Website provides useful buyers' guide.  Also see Section 35: Office wastes & toner cartridges.  (Updated Nov 2001)

Waste Watch 

Tel 020 7 549 0300  Fax 0207 549 0301  
56-64 Leonard Street, LONDON EC2A 4JX
Email info@wastewatch.org.uk  Website www.wastewatch.org.uk

National co-ordinating body providing training and advice for existing and potential community groups interested in waste prevention, reduction, reuse and recycling.  Works with local and national government, promoting environmental benefits of waste minimisation on society and the economy.  Aims for positive change in attitudes and behaviour to producing and managing waste.  Runs seminars and conferences, and produces regular newsletters and information sheets.  Developed KAT (Kerbside Analysis Tool) to help councils assess the cost and practicality of different kerbside collection options, including recycling on estates.  Wasteline is a service answering questions on all aspects of waste.  Waste Watch's London network of Waste Alert Clubs help both to save businesses money and reduce waste.  The website
www.wasteonline.org.uk is a useful source of information on the waste industry.  The website www.recycledproducts.org.uk includes a database of products with recycled content - formerly compiled and maintained by Waste Watch, and originally called Buy Recycled, it is now run by WRAP (below).  Has own Communications Consultancy which reduces actual waste (Tel 020 7549 0328, kathryn@wastewatch.org.uk).  (Updated Sep 2005)

WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme)
Helpline freephone 0808 100 2040  Switchboard Tel 01295 819900   Fax 01295 819911 / 819917
Email  helpline@wrap.org.uk   Website  www.wrap.org.uk
The Old Academy, 21 Horse Fair, BANBURY, Oxon OX16 0AH

Not-for-profit body in the private sector, set up to remove barriers to sustainable waste minimisation, re-use and recycling.  Works and liaises with community, public, private, and recycling and secondary materials sectors.  Seeks innovators and partners to accelerate resource efficiency, and create and develop stable, efficient markets for recycled materials and products.  Facilitates tenders and grants in many areas.  Also working on paper, wood glass, and plastics, and other initiatives:  Organics composted products information service;  ROTATE (Recycling and Organics Technical Advisory Team) supports and advises English local authorities on separate collection of dry recyclables and organic wastes; 'hands on' support customised to authorities' needs;  Recycled Products Guide www.recycledproducts.org.uk is an easily searchable directory of over 3200 recycled products, from watering cans to clothing and waste bins to fences; also includes forums, and information about recycled materials and other waste-related websites at www.recycledproducts.org.uk/buy-recycled/links.asp#top  eQuip Residual Value Guarantee (RVG) Scheme helps recycling companies secure finance by guaranteeing future residual value of machinery needed, set up with a panel of banks and leasing companies who will consider leasing to the recycling sector;  Materials Pricing Report (produced by ICIS-LOR for WRAP) with up-to-date information on market prices of recyclables, to assist decisions on buying and where to sell recyclable materials;  AggRegain Service (see 21 Soil and aggregate recycling), using Aggregates Levy funds for research and action to reduce demand for primary materials by encouraging reuse and recycling of aggregate.  Useful website has links to these schemes, and Waste minimisation (including composting, retail and nappies), Materials, Business and finance, and Procurement sections.  Supported by funding from DEFRA, the DTI and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (see WasteBook entries under Central Government).  (Updated Aug 2004)