Waste Management and Recycling

As a printing and packaging company, we ensure that we are responsible with our waste. We recycle 95% of all our waste – cardboard, paper, plastic and other. Polythene, our primary packaging material, is also recyclable through national schemes.

Polythene versus Paper

Contrary to popular belief, paper is more expensive and uses more energy in its production than polythene. Paper can take up to 20 times more space than polythene during transportation, resulting in excess CO2 emissions. Interestingly, paper is also more expensive to recycle, as it requires a larger amount of storage space. Polythene is fully recyclable, and can now be made from vegetable matter.

Recycled polythene can be made into:

  • Refuse sacks and bin-liners
  • Clinical waste sacks and aprons
  • Damp proof membrane
  • Plastic pallets
  • Street and Garden furniture

Regarding the production of both polythene and paper bags, the amount of emissions can differ significantly. This is illustrated in the table below (based on 50,000 units each)

Gas Emissions Kraft Paper Paper Combinations Polythene
SO2 19.4 kg 28.1 kg 9.9 kg
NO 10.2 kg 10.8 kg 6.8 kg
CO 3.0 kg 6.4 kg 1.0 kg
CH 1.2 kg 1.5 kg 3.78 kg
Dust 3.3 kg 3.8 kg 0.5 kg


Waste Water Pollution Kraft Paper Paper Combinations Polythene
CSB 16.4 kg 107.8 0.5 kg
BSB5 9.2 kg 43.1 kg 0.02 kg

Polythene – 0.4m2 PE film with a thickness 50µm (18g)
Kraft Paper – 0.4 m2 Paper with a surface weight 90g/m2 (36g)
Paper Combination – 60% White Kraft Paper, 25% Brown Kraft Paper, 15% White Sulphite Paper

Figures taken from British Polythene Industries PLC report 'In Defence of Polythene/Plastics'