Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any scientific information contained within this essay should not be treated as fact, this content is to be used for educational purposes only and may contain factual inaccuracies or be out of date.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Paper Recycling Plants Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 1935 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

Reference this

In the last decade, many large paper purchasers have recognized the environmental impacts associated with paper and changed their practices accordingly. Whether driven by consumer demand, governments purchasing directives, cost savings, or management commitment, these companies are using less paper, buying more recycled paper, and encouraging their suppliers to adopt cleaner manufacturing or recycle paper and practice better forest management.[1]

Recycling is a process – a series of activities, if you will that includes: the collection and sorting of waste materials, the processing of these materials to produce brand new products, and the purchase and use of these new products by consumers.

Recycling sharply reduces the amount of waste that gets deposited in our landfills or burned in incinerator plants. It helps conserve limited resources. Through recycling newsprint, office paper and mixed paper, we can save nearly over 8.2 million trees. [2]

Need for paper recycling

In this era, when countries are running short of resources, there is a dire need to change our production and consumption patterns. Paper production is one of the most energy intensive industries, but there is a huge potential to cut of this energy demand by recycling the paper

Positive Impacts of paper recycling from environment perspective

Recycling benefits the environment in several ways. As an alternative source of paper fiber, it reduces the demand on forest resources and the adverse impacts of commercial forestry. At the pulp or paper mill, making paper from recovered fiber is generally a cleaner and less resource-intensive process than making paper from wood fiber, since much of the work of separating fibers from the wood and bleaching the pulp has already been done. Finally, recycling programs cut the amount of trash that must be collected, transported, and disposed of in landfills and incinerators. Less waste disposed of means less air and water pollution, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions (primarily methane) that result from the breakdown of paper in landfills. Even though paper recycling and the production of recycled paper have their own environmental impacts, these are far outweighed by the gains

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

The distinction between post-consumer and pre-consumer used paper matters to the environment. Post-consumer materials are finished products that have served their useful lives and would otherwise end up in a landfill or incinerator. Pre-consumer materials include trim and scrap from manufacturing processes, such as the conversion of paper rolls into envelopes, most of which has been recycled for decades. Buying paper with postconsumer recycled content rewards paper manufacturers that have made substantial investments to expand the recycling infrastructure (e.g., by building a new deinking facility) and creates a direct incentive for paper producers to continue increasing their use of paper diverted from disposal.

In contrast to grades like paperboard, newsprint, and tissue, which typically contain much higher levels of postconsumer recycled content, the average postconsumer recycled content in printing and writing papers (including the coated paper used for catalogs and magazines) is currently less than 10 percent

From the paper purchaser’s perspective, each ton of recycled fiber that displaces a ton of virgin fiber results in a host of environmental benefits. The higher the postconsumer recycled content and the more paper purchased, the greater the gains.

The good news is that better paper practices often cost no more and sometimes even save money, both now and in the longer term. The people now-a-days are very concerned about environment so, companies would also be wise to address an issue that is of real concern to their customers.

Study after study shows that the majority of Americans is concerned about the environment Public attention to the environmental impacts of paper in particular runs in cycles, but the issue has regained prominence with a recent campaign against taking timber and pulpwood from old-growth forests. Major paper purchasers can therefore expect the public’s continuing scrutiny of their paper practices in the years ahead.[3]

Recycling generates more jobs than land filling or incinerating waste. That’s a benefit we can’t lose sight of, in this time of recession and high unemployment rate. Consider the disposal of 10,000 tons of solid waste: burning it for electricity will create 1 job; collecting and dumping this on a landfill will create 6 jobs; processing the waste for recycling will generate 36 jobs.[4]

Recycling is far more efficient, in terms of energy consumption, than producing something out of fresh raw material. Every cost-reduction, energy efficiency, materials conservation, and job generation benefit of recycling adds up to help build a strong economy for our country. Recycling, done on a country-wide scale, has a huge positive impact on the economy. Jobs are being generated and city and town governments are enjoying huge savings in electricity, garbage collection, and land filling costs.[5]

Negative impacts of paper recycling from environment perspective

From an environmental perspective, this recycling surge is a positive development – but only up to a point. Recycling does yield some distinctive environmental disadvantages: paper can only be recycled a half dozen times before the fibre starts to disintegrate; from a carbon footprint vantage point, the oversees shipping of scrap paper is counterproductive; the de-inking process by which the ink, laser and copier toner and labels, glues, plastic windows, paper clips and other materials are removed from the fibre produces sludge that, if not otherwise used, ends up in landfills

Proper storage and handling of recycled paper prior to off-site shipment should include an evaluation and reduction of potential fire hazards associated with accumulating loose, waste paper. Most hazards can be reduced by regular collections and storage in appropriate containers away from heat sources. Recycling also requires handling and transportation to recycling facilities and sorting of waste to obtain most beneficial reuse for each type of paper. It also requires effective personnel training to carry out the respective task.[6]

Positive Impacts of paper recycling from business perspective

From a business perspective the idea of setting up a paper recycle plant presents us with a great market opportunity and other great advantages. These are as follows:[7]

Market Opportunity

Despite minor fluctuations in the consumption of paper over the years, it is showing an increasing trend. With the growing level of population, we can easily predict that in future this demand will be increasing; as a result production capacities will be needed to be increased to meet the world demand.

Per-Capita Paper Consumption in World

Paper market is large and growing but the pace of growth is declining, because of increase in cost of production due to rapid increase in fuel and energy prices. Despite of the constraints, the market will grow because of the increase in demand of paper products forthcoming years.

There is growing evidence that consumers expect companies, at least as much as the government to be part of the solution to environmental problems. A company’s environmental reputation is closely correlated to its overall reputation, which in turn is tied to customer retention. Several recent studies demonstrate that along with other “social” issues, the environment is an increasingly important element in brand switching.

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

Setting up a recycling facility will help local industries or businesses grow and will bring more employment. Other than that, there is 28 – 70 percent less energy consumption in producing recycled paper compared to virgin paper. Every ton of recycled paper saves approximately four barrels of oil, 4200 kilowatt hours of energy and enough energy to heat and air-condition the average North American home for almost six months. So, setting up a paper recycling facility is a cheap business than setting up a paper manufacturing plant.

Using recycled paper reduces the need for primary raw materials, therefore cutting off the cost required for purchasing new raw materials. Another advantage is that there is also less water usage. This is because most of the energy used in papermaking is required for the pulping needed to turn wood into paper.

Demand and Supply gap

Paper recycling will help the paper industry to fulfill the rapidly increasing demand of paper products. Due to the inability for paper industry to meet the demand of paper, country needs to import paper from abroad. Due to this demand-supply gap, prices of paper products are increasing day by day. This will not only decrease the import bill of the country but also will decrease the price of paper products which will increase the purchasing power of the individuals and hence it will increase their welfare.

Lower prices

The lower prices of recycled paper will increase the purchasing power of the people and they will favor it over the new paper. There is preferably a huge market demand for paper because in an era of high rate of inflation, this low priced range of products will attract people to purchase. Recycled paper products are also friendly to environment. Most of the people don’t know about the concept of recycling. If awareness is created amongst the individuals, this will lead to increase in recycled product’s demand.

Competitiveness with other industries

Since this production process requires used paper, less energy, less water and other raw materials, it is a cost effective process. In this way it has advantage over other products in the market. Another aspect of advantage is that of environment friendliness. This product will not only compete with the existing paper maker firms but also it will compete with the other closely related industries, such as polythene bag manufacturers. We all know that polythene bags are in one way or the other hazardous to the environment. This weakness of polythene bags becomes our strength and hence gives us competitive advantage over them.


Recycling paper will help to comply with the nation environment quality standards of a country, and hence it will help to boost the business and will result in governmental support and funding for setting up a facility.

Negative impacts of setting up a paper recycling facility

One of the major drawbacks of setting up a recycling paper facility is that the technology required for recycling is not common worldwide. Especially it’s a problem in developing countries where the rate of inflation is very high. Also, there is lack of human expertise in handling recycling facility. Another important factor is that, the marketing of the product should be in a way that it should attract the customers, otherwise they may not accept the product. The initial input that is used is paper that needs to be collected from the community, at times poor participation and lack of awareness of people may result in failure of the business. And last but not the least, the firms may react on this establishment and may affect the profitability and sustainability of the new recycling facility. [8]


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: