Nearly 60% of adults use a computer at work, and 80% of us use the Internet on a daily basis. These figures have grown year on year and will continue to do so. It is clear that technology has changed the way we act.

With the increase of technology like laptops, smart phones and tablets, the perception is that we are using less paper. The idea that paper consumption and waste is falling is good news to the growing numbers of those supporting environmental causes. But has the increase use of technology actually reduced the amount of paper used and thrown away?

The world produces around 300 million tonnes of paper each year. The majority of this takes the form of copier paper, notebooks and computer printouts. Among the highest consumers are schools and offices.

The average office worker will use around 10,000 pieces of paper in a year. Whilst American offices still outnumber the paper use of anyone else, western countries like the UK are catching up. 45% of paper in the office has a life span of less than one day. This short cycle occurs for over a trillion pieces of paper per year.

Surprisingly the use of paper in the last 20 years has increased. Not marginally, but by over 120%. Since 1997 the use of paper products has increased from 92 million tons to 208 million.

So as technology and paper increase in daily use, what can be done to reduce the waste from paper products and to reduce the impact on the environment?

You’ll have probably received an email with a signature that includes a phrase to tune of “Please consider the environment before printing this email”. Despite the good nature of this plea it is largely pointless. Very few emails get printed. The occasional one may be filed for specific purposes but the huge majority of emails are never even considered for printing. There are much more useful and active things that can be done to help eco-friendly behavior in your office and others.

There are times in the office when you can be mindful about whether or not it needs to be printed. Printing draft versions of copy to be annotated in the tiniest ways is one of the worst culprits. Remember that Microsoft word has a handy tool allowing you track changes, review each one, or accept the newer version. Try this when sharing work across the office instead of printing unnecessarily.

Let’s not forget the efforts that can be made in your purchasing too. Talk to us today about the range of recycled paper that can stock your printer or ask about our managed print services and Konica Minolta machines that can reduce your printing costs and reduce wasted printing.

And don’t forget the other elements of eco-friendliness that can help reduce your footprint as well. Turning lights off when not being used, making tea and coffee rounds rather than overfilling the kettle and boiling it multiple times, and a range of other office products that can be recycled or remanufactured like toner cartridges.

What is your office policy on paper usage and printing? What eco-friendly practices do you and your teams follow to help the environment?


For more information on recycled products and busines machine services, contact Keeley Travis on 0161 683 4247 or email the team as