Document destruction is a prevalent practice in both offices and homes. We often shred paper to get rid of any sensitive information that may end up in the wrong hands or to free up room in our garbage cans, but many of us are unaware of the detrimental effects it has on the environment.
Shredded paper trash can still be recycled; that much is true, but do we know how to recycle it more effectively?
Paper is broken down into very tiny pieces during paper shredding. These bits are then given to other procedures, where they will be converted back into pulp.
The recycled paper is put through the same procedure once more. The leftover pulp will be sorted from unwanted items like plastic bags, staples, and rubber bands throughout the recycling process.
At this point, wood fragments are also taken out. The fragments or fibers will then be flattened into lengthy sheets or flakes and shipped back to paper mills.
Paper that is intact rather than shredded is more easily recycled.
Whole paper should be recycled because it uses less energy. However, recycling paper scraps will use more water and energy. Additionally, recycling paper that includes extras like staples and tags may contaminate the remaining sheets.
In terms of paper recycling, slower is better. The fibers will be able to degrade gradually as a result. Although shredding is faster, it prevents paper from being recycled in a timely manner or at all.
The entire shredding and recycling process uses more energy. When it is recycled using the method used in workplaces and households, such as feeding the chopped pieces through a cross-cut shredder, or running them through a revolving drum, fibers frequently break away and become stuck together.
As a result, the fibers are eventually broken up into minute particles once more. To once again separate these tiny particles into pulp, additional water and chemicals are needed.
A University of Connecticut research found that the typical shredder uses about 200 watts of power. You must make sure it isn't overloaded to avoid overheating and extend its life.
Yes, paper is formed from biodegradable cellulose fibers. Because of this, it can readily disintegrate and transform into compost or animal feed. However, because the fibers must first be broken down before they can eventually dissolve fully, this process takes a while.
When you take into account all of the benefits of shredding, it is not so awful for the environment. Due to the volume of complete sheets, it helps reduce landfill waste by taking up less room in your garbage cans. Document destruction also aids in preventing identity theft and the misuse of your data.
Unwanted bank statements, junk mail, credit card offers, obsolete receipts, and other office paper may be shredded quickly and easily without jeopardizing your privacy.
But you have to remember that shredding destroys the ability of the paper to be recycled. And whole sheets decompose much easier.
A paper can take about a year to decompose on landfill sites. This means that recycling whole sheets is better as it takes less time to be decomposed compared to shredded paper.