In the mid-19th century, there was an increased demand for books and writing material. Up to that time, paper manufacturers had used discarded linen rags for paper, but supply could not keep up with the increased demand. Books were bought at auctions for the purpose of recycling fiber content into new paper, at least in the United Kingdom, by the beginning of the 19th century.
Internationally, about half of all recovered paper comes from converting losses (pre-consumer recycling), such as shavings and unsold periodicals; approximately one third comes from household or post-consumer waste.
Some statistics on paper consumption:
- The average per capita paper use worldwide was 110 pounds (50 kg).
- It is estimated that 95% of business information is still stored on paper.
- Recycling 1 short ton (0.91 t) of paper saves 17 mature trees, approximately 26,500 litres of water, 18.72 square feet of landfill space, 320 litres of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough energy to power an average Indian home for four months.
- Although paper is traditionally identified with reading and writing, communications has now been replaced by packaging as the single largest category of paper use at 41% of all paper used.
- 11,500 crore sheets of paper are used annually for personal computers.
- The average web user prints 28 pages daily.
- Most corrugated fiberboard boxes have over 25% recycled fibers. Some are 100% recycled fiber.
We use paper and paper products every day, from newspapers to food packaging to office paper. In fact, paper and paper products make up the largest portion of the municipal solid waste stream in the India, and for that matter in any country, and as a result, offer the greatest opportunity to recycle.
POWERGRID, a Navratna PSU, committed to the goal of sustainable development and conservation of nature and natural resources. As part of Sustainable Development initiative, POWERGRID established its flagship venture “Waste Paper Recycling Plant” in the premises of 400/220 kV GIS Substation at Sohna Road, Gurgaon.
POWERGRID decided to recycle used/waste paper to minimize the negative impact on the environment. This is another first in the list of many endeavors like; POWERGRID is the first company in Asia to have a well defined Environment & Social Policy & Procedure. It is also the first company in India and the second in the world to be certified with a PAS based Integrated Management Section.
The waste paper recycling unit has a capacity to handle 40-60 kg of paper daily. The waste paper generated from the POWERGRID Corporate Office is used as raw material for the plant. The recycled paper produced in-house is now utilized for making company’s letterheads, visiting cards, file/folders, D.O pads etc. with the aim of phasing out procurement of paper in due course of time. POWERGRID’s endeavor of recycling the used/waste paper generated from its Corporate office has not only made notable strides in environment protection for last nine months as making of 1 ton of paper requires cutting of 17 mature trees and approx 10 liters of water is needed for the production of 1 A4 sheet of paper but also provided employment to 5 persons (including 4 female workers) from underprivileged section of society. Encourage by its success, POWERGRID would like to replicate this model plant in the other office establishments at different regional offices in future.