The 8 Most Eye-Opening Facts about Paper Waste

Posted by Kevin D'Arcy on Nov 21, 2014 9:30:00 AM

the-8-most-eye-opening-facts-about-paper-wasteBusinesses have become more cognizant of the paper waste they produce in the last few years. With the drive for greener businesses, organizations of all types are taking steps to try and curtail the impact they are having on the environment. Reducing paper waste is one area that is important to focus on, and for good reason. Here are some of the most eye-opening facts about paper waste that convey why businesses should strive to reduce theirs.



  1. 50% of office waste going to landfills is paper. Even with recycling programs in place, a very high volume of paper isn’t properly recycled, particularly from office buildings.

  2. The average worldwide annual paper consumption is 48kg per person, with North America accounting for over 1/3 of total paper consumption. (International Institute for Environment and Development)

  3. It’s estimated that paperless or eFiling systems could save up to 1.4 trillion pounds of paper and 728,000 trees if everyone transitioned (Going Green Today)

  4. Reducing the amount of mail your office receives and sends out can have a huge impact on the volume of paper you waste. In fact, it’s estimated that junk mail destroys almost 100 million trees every year.

  5. Canada uses 6 million tonnes of paper and paperboard annually, but only 25% of it is properly recycled (Environment Canada)

  6. Recycling one tonne of paper can save: 17 trees, 6953 gallons of water, 463 gallons of oil and 583 pounds of air pollution (Town of Newmarket). By implementing more effective recycling programs at your workplace, you can significantly cut down the amount of paper being wasted.

  7. The average web user prints 28 pages daily and the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper annually (Gartner Group)

  8. In the US, the 4 million tonnes of office paper discarded every year is enough to build a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to California! (American Forest and Paper Association)

As is clear from the paper waste facts above, reducing the amount of paper waste in your office can have a huge collective impact on the environment. Visit MES today for more information on transitioning to a paperless office, or to learn more about converting your paper files.


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