Thinking Out of the Box About Recycling Paper!

August 14, 2014

Paper is one of the most plentiful manufactured items on the planet but we often overlook its’ magic and potential. Different types of paper can give hints about a culture, a time in history, or a specific place on the planet, but they all tie back to the resource that makes it: trees. Unfortunately, our civilization takes for granted this resource that is used every day. At some point in the future, we are going to have to seriously look at our paper consumption and consider how we can recycle, reduce, and reuse in order to save this precious resource. To give you some background about this amazing product, paper, here are some facts about paper-making!

1) Paper can be made through a mechanical or chemical process

2) Paper is bleached to give it the white color

3) Papermaking uses a huge amount of water in the process

4) North American’s consume more paper per capita than any other country (500lbs per year!)

5) 40% of the world’s logging is used to make paper (that is a heck of a lot of trees!)

6) The paper industry emits a lot of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere (over 100 million kilograms of toxins each year!)

7) Paper production is the third most energy-intensive of all types of manufacturing


At Way Basics, we are already thinking ahead of the game and upcycling paper to be used in many different ways. Our zBoard is made from 99% post-consumer recycled paper, which means no new trees are being cut down when you purchase our cubes or bookshelves made from recycled paper. We love to celebrate other individuals and companies that are thinking out of the box when it comes to paper. Only when we celebrate it for the precious resource that it is, will we begin to save our trees.

The artist, Li Hongbo has created paper sculptures, which are made of thousands of sheets of paper. These honeycomb like structures were inspired by his fascination with the Chinese art of paper gourds. These sculptures are part of a greater body of work called Tools of Study and are replicas of old marble busks such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s David. This new way of utilizing paper is truly mind blowing. Be sure to check out the video clip below:

Another awesome recycling story we want to share is about the company AkzoNobel. They have created the world’s first 100% recycled cup! Most cups (even the recycled ones) have a petroleum-based coating that is used to keep the liquid from permeating the cup. AkzoNobel have created a coating that is made from plant-based oils, which makes the cup 100% recycled and compostable! Learn more about this groundbreaking company and how they are planning on “doing more with less.” Learn more:

Just like Way Basics, Li Hongbo and AkzoNobel are doing great things in the paper recycling industry. It is important to think out of the box to help recycle! Even you can do things to recycle paper in your own home. At the moment, most American’s only recycle 15% of their paper. This is a real shame because America’s paper consumption is going up. To combat this, make sure to recycle in your home and office. If your workplace does not recycle, offer to start a recycling program and pave the way! Let us know about your paper recycling journey. Way Basics would love to help start this initiative and we would even offer some prizes as a way to get people recycling! After all, our first Way Basics’ product was a recyclable recycling bin! It all comes back to helping our community and spreading the word around paper recycling! What do you do to recycle in your home

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