The Real Figures of Paper Usage in the UK

We use paper in lots of areas in our personal and professional lives – probably more than you realise. This may seem unsurprising, as it is in our human nature to want to jot things down as reminders and use visual aids throughout our working day.


The statistics, however, are rather shocking. Each person in the UK will use just under 4.5 trees per year for the purpose of paper alone, and each of our UK office workers are suggested to use around 10,000 sheets of A4 paper each year. Considering it takes around 5 litres of water to produce one sheet of A4 paper, this means each employee is using around 50,000 litres of water per year on office paper. A small office-based business then, comprising of 10 employees,  will use half a million litres of water a year.


The impact of such an extensive reliance on paper has negative consequences for the environment, as half of all waste stems from paper usage. If these facts don’t hit hard enough – if we were to recuperate all the wasted paper in one year, we could build a 12-foot high wall across the whole of the United States.


Paper usage within offices and alike is costing businesses heavily. By cutting down your office’s paper usage, you can not only help the planet, but you can benefit by saving a lot of money each year.


Tips to Cut Down Your Office’s Paper Usage

Now that we can see the extent of the damage that paper usage in offices creates, we should try and find ways of reducing our reliance on paper on occasions when it is not necessary. Here are our top tips for cutting down your office’s paper waste:



Ok, this won’t exactly reduce your paper usage, but at least you can feel good about helping the planet and breaking the cycle.


Make a scrap paper box:

Having a designated scrap paper box will allow workers to reach for already used paper instead of taking fresh paper straight out of the printer if they need to make rough notes or sketches.


Go digital:

Use electronic files instead of paper ones when possible – they’re easier to collaborate on and are also a lot more cost effective.


Think before you print and implement rules:

Ask yourself if it really necessary to print that short email, or if you can make a reminder electronically or by using scrap paper. You can also enforce rules when printing is deemed  necessary – such as only letting admin teams print double sided.


Consider quotas:

Implementing quotas within departments that require printing can help to reduce overuse; for example, a quota ensuring that no more than 20 sheets are printed per day.


Introduce print management with departmental billing:

Consider implementing a print management system that features print release with auto delete at the end of the day, so if print jobs aren’t collected they automatically delete – reducing waste.

Get in Touch!

To get your paper-related questions answered, or to get a free quote, do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly and professional team at your earliest convenience. We are readily available by phone on 01233 633366, or via our website.


If you enjoyed today’s read, then share our article with friends and office owners to help reduce paper waste today!


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