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How long does it take for paper to degrade?

Our waste is related to climate change, so an optimal management of it, as well as responsible consumption, allows us to reduce the possible negative effects of its degradation processes on the environment. All the matter produced in nature returns to it decomposed and reabsorbed by the environment, so it is part of natural cycles. However, it is increasingly difficult to properly treat the waste we generate, as we increase the amount of it and vary its composition (plastics, metals, paper, etc.), thus increasing the danger and toxicity of said waste degradation.

In this AgroCorrn article we bring you detailed information about recycling, reuse and degradation of one of the most human-generated waste: paper. Read on and you will find out how long it takes for the paper to degrade .

You may also be interested in: How long does gum take to degrade?
  1. How long does it take for paper to degrade – the answer
  2. Why is it important to recycle paper
  3. How to reuse paper
  4. How to recycle paper – what container does it go in?

How long does it take for paper to degrade – the answer

Used paper takes 1 year to degrade . Compared to other groups of waste that we routinely produce, paper has a relatively low degradation period. Here are some concrete examples of other materials and the time it takes for them to disappear from nature once we convert them into “trash” , to get a more accurate idea of ​​these differences in degradation times between different groups of waste:

  • Used paper: 1 year
  • Butts: 1-2 years
  • Chewing gums: 5 years
  • Soda cans: 200-500 years
  • Glass bottles: more than 5,000 years

If you want to know more about how long it takes to degrade waste or waste, you can consult this other article from AgroCorrn. In the next sections we will continue giving information about the degradation of paper, the importance of recycling it, as well as different ideas for reusing it.

Why is it important to recycle paper

The time of permanence of the paper and the other residues in the environment, entails several associated environmental problems , such as the contamination of the soil , water and air; as well as the increased risk of forest fires , health risks and the alteration of the life cycles of animals and plants.

Specifically, the recycling of paper favors reductions in the deforestation of entire forests dedicated to the exploitation of paper and wood. For this reason, recycling paper contributes to reducing the thousands of hectares used in different countries around the world for the exploitation of paper, as well as reducing pollution caused by ink and other chemicals used in the papers we use. in our day to day.

In addition, using recycled paper compared to the use of newly produced paper has numerous advantages, such as reducing the number of trees and kilograms of wood as raw material to produce it, and reducing the liters of water and energy consumed for production. of paper. In this other article we talk about What is the environmental impact of paper production and in this other post you can expand the information about Why it is important to recycle paper and cardboard .

Continue reading the next sections of this interesting article to discover how to reuse and recycle paper, thus preventing paper degradation from contributing to current and future environmental problems.

How to reuse paper

In recent years, numerous advertising campaigns focused on waste management warn us that “the best waste is the one that is not generated” and, to emphasize this statement, the reuse of products such as paper is essential.

Beyond the classic reuse of “one-sided” folios for another purpose, printed papers can be used both to decorate and make Christmas and greeting cards , as well as to make crafts and collage . Another useful way to reuse paper is to use newspaper and magazine papers to wrap gifts and fragile objects that we want to transport.

Undoubtedly, the limits of the reuse of paper will be marked only by the limits of our imagination.

How to recycle paper – what container does it go in?

The blue container is the one dedicated to the recycling of paper and cardboard waste . By depositing the waste paper that we will no longer use in it, we are favoring that this material can be recycled up to 6 times, without the cellulose fibers of the same losing quality. When depositing paper and / or cardboard waste in the blue container, we must take into account the following tips:

  • If the paper or cardboard is stained with organic remains (such as grease or oil), we must deposit them in the generic or reject container (usually gray).
  • The cardboard boxes of the medicines must be deposited in the pharmacies, so that they can continue their specific recycling towards the production of new boxes of pharmaceutical products.
  • Whenever we can, we should choose to use recycled paper, rather than buying new, non-recycled paper.
  • As for the books that are in good condition but that we do not want, instead of recycling them in the blue container, we can give them away, donate them or take them to a second-hand bookstore or do “bookcrossing”, the wonderful and ingenious practice of leaving books in public places for other readers to collect, with the possibility of taking your other one in exchange.

If you want to learn more about the topic of recycling paper, take a look at this other article on How to recycle paper at home step by step and What is recycled in the blue container and what is not .

If you want to read more articles similar to How long it takes for paper to degrade , we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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