Paper waste: Responsible disposal solutions
Your salon disposes of a great deal of paper and cardboard. Even if yours is a “paperless” business (for example, you print neither receipts nor invoices), much of your inventory probably comes in small branded boxes which were probably shipped to you in larger boxes. You may also have an assortment of magazines or newspapers that you offer for reading material. Your business may even be a dumping ground for takeaway cups which, as you will see, typically cannot be recycled with the rest of your paper. Your salon brings in as well as disposes of a steady flow of paper and cardboard which, as you well know, you often pay for on both ends.
Paper is highly recyclable so it is important to make sure it gets disposed of properly. Read our article Why is it important to recycle paper? to understand why. There are a number of ways your business can minimise your paper waste to begin with so be sure to read our article, How to become a tree-hugging salon.
When salons use GSC to dispose of their paper waste they can be assured that it will be recycled, including those pesky takeaway cups. We provide bins with which to separate paper from all other waste streams. This ensures that things like contaminants do not leach onto paper making it non-recyclable.
GSC makes use of the infrastructure of a third-party local business, First Mile, to transport paper waste from salons to a sorting facility. When the paper waste arrives it is separated into cardboard, paper and paper cups. The paper is baled and sent to mills that turn it into pulp which is then used to make new (recycled!) paper. The cardboard is recycled separate from paper and undergoes a similar process.
Only a very small number of specialist UK facilities can recycle disposable takeaway cups and getting them to those facilities remains a huge challenge. Valpak, an environmental solutions company, has teamed up with Costa Coffee to create the National Paper Cup Recycling Scheme which helps get the cups from consumers to one of these few and far between facilities.
GSC is now a collection point for the scheme.
You no longer need to feel burdened with disposing of an endless flow of takeaway cups for your clients or staff. Be sure to put plastic lids inside the designated plastic bin and paper cups in the paper bin. We sort and separate the cups from the rest of your paper and cardboard to make sure they end up where they can actually get recycled.
This article was written for Green Salon Collective by MeetthefiveRs
References and further reading:
MeetthefiveRs’ article, Plastic is not the enemy and paper is not necessarily the solution
The BBC article, Plastic or paper: Which bag is greener?
The Guardian article, War on plastic waste faces setback as cost of recycled material soars
The Blueprint’s article, How Your Small Business Can Go Paperless
Northern Ireland Assembly’s briefing note, Comparison of environmental impact of plastic, paper and cloth bags
National Geographic’s article, You eat thousands of bits of plastic every year
Valpak’s Paper cup recycling scheme
Forbes’ article, Going paperless: A journey worth taking
Pratima Bajpai’s book, Recycling and Deinking of Recovered Paper
Happy DIY Home’s article, DIY compost bin ideas: How to make compost at home