By Claire West

UK businesses are generating more paper waste then ever, despite efforts to move to paperless offices.

According to a leading UK office procurement expert, digital documents are being copied onto paper on average 11 times. Furthermore, continually changing electronic formats mean many organisations maintain storage of paper backups.
Andy Craig, group commercial director of the office2office Group, is warning businesses to be aware of potential data security issues and to ensure paper waste is recycled in the most environmentally friendly manner. Andy said:

“Experience indicates the volume of paper waste generated by an organisation can actually increase when they move to electronic document storage.

“Information provided by our secure document destruction division, Banner Document Services, indicates employees are printing off as many copies of a document which has been created digitally, as had previously been copied.

“UK businesses consume 750,000 tonnes of office paper every year. Despite businesses turning to electronic data, hard copy storage is actually increasing. Because paper documents are absolutely and easily retrievable it appears many organisations are not confident enough in their electronic data to do away with paper storage.

“Organisations must address how their hard copy confidential data can be securely destroyed and ensure the maximum amount of paper waste is recycled.”

Banner Business Services, the managed procurement arm of office2office, has recently launched a unique 100% Recycled “Closed Loop” copier paper, sourced from shredded waste paper collected from clients and delivered back to the same customer as copier paper.

Andy added: “I believe this form of sustainable approach will be the future of paper recycling. Often recycled paper ends up as tissue paper with one final use — the Banner Closed Loop paper goes round and round, significantly reducing energy consumption and the need for new trees required for production, and confidential data is securely destroyed in the process.”