Why should we recycle magazines
To protect the forests: save paper, use recycled paper
Online trading is booming - it has increased by 600 percent since the mid-1990s. Mountains of packaging waste are the result, and it is not uncommon for the small spare part to come in a huge box. More and more food is prepackaged in individual portions and food and drinks "to go" are available on every corner. Paper packaging that is directly generated by us consumers has been in the past 25 years increased by 88 percent. We use twice as many pizza boxes as we did in 2000 and billions of paper cups go to waste for coffee-to-go every year.
The consumption of office paper, newspapers and magazines has developed differently. The trend towards paperless reading has increased and with it the demand for printed and graphic paper has decreased.
In Germany in 2019 almost 230 kilos per head uses less paper than in previous years. But that still makes us one of the front runners worldwide.
Where does the wood for our paper come from?
Germany is Europe's largest paper producer. A lot of waste paper is used, but hardly any domestic wood. This means that for our immense consumption, trees are felled in other countries and processed into cellulose - the raw material for paper. We import large quantities of pulp for paper production from South America, Scandinavia and the Iberian Peninsula. Would you have thought that more than 40 percent of our pulp comes from Brazil, Uruguay and Chile? A third comes from Brazil alone, which means that the more paper we use, the more trees are felled in South America and other countries. For hygiene papers such as toilet paper, cosmetic tissues and Co. alone, consumption has risen by more than 25 percent in the past ten years.
Finished paper products are also often imported goods. If there is no indication of the quality of the paper, it is unfortunately not possible for consumers to tell whether, for example, a book contains tropical wood fibers or fibers from overexploitation.
Even active against the flood of rubbish
How can I recognize real recycled paper?
- Products that are guaranteed to be manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner bear the "Blue Angel" mark awarded by the Federal Environment Agency: These are made entirely of recycled paper fibers. They are produced with less energy and water consumption and less wastewater pollution than paper products made from cellulose. Harmful bleaching chemicals, optical brighteners and other chemicals must also not be used. The "Blue Angel" can be found on office supplies, copy paper, exercise books, college pads, toilet paper, paper handkerchiefs, kitchen towels and wallpaper.
- More and more products have been awarded the "FSC-Mix" and "EU Ecolabel" seals. Although these are recognized seals, they do not guarantee the use of recycled paper fibers. If you also find the words "made from cellulose" or "wood-free", then it is clear that no waste paper was used as a raw material. You can download more about the seals in our overview.
- Some of the company's own "eco-labels" on paper that are sold in stores make more ecological promises than they deliver. Stationery with the logos "Aqua Pro Natura", "Weltpark Tropenwald" and "paper by nature" are not made of waste paper, but are made from fresh fibers.
- Wood-free is not wood-free at all: The imprint "Wood-free" only means that there are no wood-containing components in the paper. Only fresh wood fibers are guaranteed to be used for these papers.
- Caution is always advisable with papers that do not contain any information about the raw material used and the bleaching agent. It cannot be ruled out that the paper is made from fresh cellulose that comes from jungle areas or illegally cut forests. In addition, the paper may have been bleached with substances that contain chlorine.
How can I avoid packaging?
- Avoid cosmetics or toothpaste with outer boxes or leave the packaging in the store and make a statement. Unfortunately, retailers are no longer obliged to take back outer packaging.
- Some shops even offer cosmetics, cleaning products or even long-life food without packaging.
- An online retailer offers reusable boxes? Then buy there consciously!
How else can I avoid paper junk?
- If you don't want to lug porcelain to the barbecue party: There are also reusable plastic dishes made of polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (PE).
- And when it comes to coffee-to-go, too, there are more and more deposit models or cafés that accept reusable cups that you have brought yourself.
- Handkerchiefs, paper towels or napkins are also made of fabric that can be used many times.
How do I stop advertising in my mailbox?
The sticker "Do not insert advertising" can help against advertisements. Addressed advertising can be returned with the note "Acceptance refused". Or you can be entered in the so-called "Robinson list".
How can I save paper in the office?
People are comfortable, so it's best to save paper as easily as possible - for your colleagues too. For example, by choosing double-sided printing (duplex) as the default setting for the printer.
Correct sorting of waste paper: paper bin, yellow sack, residual waste bin
Those who reduce their own paper consumption, only buy products that are made from one hundred percent recycled paper and also collect waste paper for the container make a three-fold sensible contribution to environmental protection. A clean and "correct" separation is important so that as much waste paper as possible can be recycled.
Paper packaging only belongs in the recycling bin / yellow bin / yellow sack if it is composite packaging such as beverage cartons. Composite packaging is paper packaging that is coated with plastic or plastic / metal. In contrast, paper packaging such as wrapping paper and egg cartons belong in the waste paper collection.
Collect as carefully as possible, this makes processing easier! Remove plastic sleeves, tape, and stickers from files. Papers should also be free from dirt.
The following belong in the paper bin or paper container:
- Newspapers / magazines / brochures
- Boxes made of paper, cardboard and cardboard (no composite packaging)
- Food cartons (not composite packaging) such as corn flake cartons
- Papers, boxes and cardboard from offices and administrations (if possible without adhesive strips and address labels)
- Paper school supplies
- Brochures / books / catalogs
- Envelopes - also with a window
- Uncoated wrapping paper
- Egg cartons
- Gift boxes
- Flower paper
- Bun bag / fruit paper bag
The following belong in the recycling bin / yellow bin / yellow sack:
- Juice carton
- Milk carton
- Soup bags
- all composite packaging
- Disposable paper cups, for example coffee-to-go cups
- French fries bowl
The residual waste bin includes:
- all dirty papers
- Hygiene papers such as paper handkerchiefs, kitchen paper
- Wallpaper scraps
- Carbon papers, blue paper
- Carbonless papers
- Receipts, account statements, purchase vouchers, machine tickets made of thermal paper because of the chemicals they contain
- Envelopes with studded pads; Note: If you have received goods ordered in such an envelope, then the envelope is packaging. As such, it belongs in the recycling bin / yellow bin / in the yellow sack. Unfortunately, this is not easy to understand, but it is regulated by law.
- Papers and cardboard that are contaminated with adhesive residue
- Photo paper, old photos
- Coated wrapping paper (foil)
- Leather or fabric covers of books
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