Perhaps the number one reason why most companies choose to shred unwanted documents is to enhance and maintain security. What you may not know is that document shredding isn’t just a great way to improve paper reduction processes in a company and boost internal security – it also offers crucial environmental sustainability. According to research conducted by the environmental protection agency, and various other sources, the environmental impact of shredding documents could be tremendous.
Our environment plays a crucial role in the future of our society, which is why it’s so important that we do everything we can to protect and nourish it. More corporations and private citizens than ever before have come to recognize the need to build sustainable workspaces, lifestyle, and homes, and now they are beginning to realize that shredding has a vital part to play.
Why Is Shredding So Useful?
Often, when people consider the benefits of paper shredding, they do so in relation to security – coming up with ways to prevent the robbery of sensitive information. However, paper shredding is also helpful to the environment. First of all, most shredding companies utilize systems that are “green”, ensuring that shredded material is recycled and re-used in useful formats. For instance, shred paper, after destruction, could transform into new consumer goods such as paper towels and plates, saving the environment by reducing the number of trees cut down for new materials.
Organizations that choose to take part in document shredding can assist environmental sustainability by reducing the negative impact of waste on the environment. Paper thrown away instead of being recycled can build up in landfills, or may need to be destroyed using methods that rely upon environmentally-damaging fuels. By shredding documents, we protect the trees, earth, and atmosphere.
The Statistics of Shredding
Saving forest land is one of the many different benefits that recycling can have for the environment. The process of producing paper in the first place uses significant amounts of water and energy – pumping extra pollutants into the atmosphere. However, recycling a single ton of paper results in the use of 65% less energy, 50% less water, and 72% less pollution.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, when a person throws a single piece of paper into the trash, that paper becomes around 33% of the municipal solid waste stream. When you take into account the fact that each office worker uses an average of 10,000 sheets of paper each year, you can imagine the impact that such waste is having on our environment.
Within the United States alone, each individual produces just under five pounds of paper-related garbage every day. This waste moves into landfills where it piles up over time, creating eye-sores for the country. The good news is that despite this significant waste, many businesses are now committing themselves to the concepts of basic recycling.
Recycling is a great way of protecting the environment – but simply recycling paper by placing it in bins for other agencies to collect poses a significant risk to many businesses. Documentation including important or personal details can remain on papers that are improperly recycled, and if the right people do not handle those papers, they could provide the perfect opportunity for robbery or identity theft. As any of the personal information that a company handles is their responsibility, misuse could lead to serious litigation against that business. With that in mind, both shredding and recycling paper is perhaps the best way for companies across the globe to improve their impact on the environment, while maintaining sustainable security for sensitive documents.