Refuse and Recycling Blog

How Can My Business Lower its Dependence on Paper Products?

Posted on Tue, May 22, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

 A4 Printer Paper

If you own or operate a business, then you know that every penny it takes to run that business is subtracted from your bottom line. One way to improve that bottom line is to reduce costs that are not fixed. Enter paper products. Whether you are an office that prints frequently, a supplier who ships or a restaurant that serves food on paper products or with paper napkins, reducing your overall paper output improves your profits. Not to mention, reducing the amount of paper products you use, lowers your garbage removal cost. Suddenly, you're killing two birds with one stone. Here's a look at how to lower your dependence on paper products not matter what type of business you are in.

Double-Sided Printing

AT&T once calculated that by instituting a double-sided printing policy, they could save over $385,000 annually and cut their paper usage by 77 million sheets. That's quite an impressive number for merely making a simple adjustment to computer printers and copiers. Institute a policy that requires employees to print all materials in a double-sided format. Not only will you be saving money, but you'll be helping the environment.

Repurpose Old Paper

Even if you have instituted a double-sided printing policy, chances are there are still plenty of documents that are only a page long. Institute a policy that old non-confidential memos should be repurposed as note paper. Rather than reaching for a clean sheet of paper, your employees will put old documents to good use.

Only Print What is Necessary

One of the huge advantages to the rapid pace of technology is that many documents that once needed to be printed can be simply emailed. Ask your employees to only print documents that are absolutely necessary. Make use of computers, smart phones and tablet devices to share information around the office in lieu of printing those documents.

Pack Goods Tightly

Have you ever received a very small object in a very large box? Many companies follow antiquated shipping practices that pack items in cardboard boxes that are much too big for the item. Additionally, many times paper products are used to surround these items. Instruct your shipping department to explore using smaller, recycled boxes in lieu of larger ones. Additionally, explore packing material such as recycled plastic air bubbles that protect the product just as well instead of using crumpled paper.

Reduce Paper Napkins

If you own or operate a fast-casual restaurant, you might make the point that using paper products is more cost-effective than having to wash dishes or linens for each customer. While that might be the case, you can still do a couple of things to help the environment. First, always use recycled products. Second, limit the amount of napkins you hand to each customer. You ever pick-up your order and the guy at the front stuffs the bag full of napkins? Create a policy where all of your workers are conscious of the paper products they are giving each customer. If a customer needs more, he'll surely ask or have supplies at home.

Key Takeaways:

  • Double-sided printing not only saves paper, but it cuts down on garbage removal as well.
  • Repurposing old paper into scratch or notepad paper is good for the environment and cuts down on trash removal.
  • Only print documents that are absolutely necessary.
  • Pack goods using as little paper products as possible. This also reduces the garbage removal burden for the recipient.
  • Be conscious of the amount of paper products you give to any customer. Limit quantities if possible.

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Tags: solid waste reduction, lower dependance, reduce waste, reuse