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Why Don't We Use Recycled Paper?

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

According to Planet Ark, Australians use approximately 2.4 million tonnes of paper per year for printing, reading and writing. If ‘going green’ is the obvious choice, why do we as printers, produce less than 10% of our work on recycled paper?

HOW RECYCLING HELPS? Using recycled paper obviously reduces the amount we bury in landfill, which by the way releases methane gas 23 times higher and more harmful to the environment than C02. It also uses less energy and water, and produces lower carbon emissions in the manufacturing process than non-recycled paper, says Arjowiggins.  And, paper can be recycled up to 5 times before the fibres become too short and damaged. 


Unfortunately it costs around 20% more than non-recycled paper. Why? As with many recycled products, there are often additional steps to collect, clean and prepare the raw materials for manufacture. Here’s how that works with paper.

  • Collection of Waste Paper. This happens at a waste sorting facility which classifies and sells the materials to the paper mill.

  • Cleaning and Whitening. Because the majority of the recycled material will already be printed, it needs to go through a rigorous process of deinking, cleaning and whitening.

After this, the pulp is ready to be manufactured into paper.

DOES IT NEED TO LOOK RECYCLED? Not any more. With advancements in technology and processes, recycled paper is now as white and has the same print performance as non recycled paper. 

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT?  If you are concerned about the impact your product will make on the environment, here are a few other ways to ‘go green’.

  • No Laminate – the super loss coating we put on a lot of covers to make them ‘pop’ is a thin film of plastic. Paper with laminate is non recyclable. 

  • Water Varnish – many printers use a varnish to speed up the drying process and eliminate marking on the flat sheets. Ask what type of varnish is being used for this process. Printcraft chooses a water based, aqueous coating which doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals and won’t yellow over time.

  • Soy Inks. Partner with a printer that uses soy based inks.

  • Accreditations & Certifications. Finally check the accreditations and certifications of the printer. If they have ISO, FSC® or the industry accrediation Sustainable Green Print, you know they’re up to date with internationally set standards.

Printcraft is Queensland’s largest privately owned printing company. We have FSC®, ISO and Sustainable Green Print certifications. We use water based vanishes, soy based inks and recycle all of our waste paper and packaging. We support all customers wishing to use recycled paper. For more information contact us at

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