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Because You Asked

Because You Asked: How To Recycle Business Cards And The Like?

By Recyclebank |

There are so many different types of paper in the world, so how do you know what can be recycled?

Dear Recyclebank: Are business cards, paint color swatches, brochures and other flyers recyclable?
–Neva D.

Dear Neva: As you know, paper is not just one thing. There’s office paper, business-card paper in multiple colors and weights, glossy brochures, paint swatches, and many different types of each of those. Fortunately, business cards, advertising flyers, and similar card stock can be placed in the same recycling container as newsprint, magazines, and corrugated cardboard. Most recycling services offer curbside pickup for paper and cardboard as long as the paper isn’t thermal receipt paper, and doesn’t contain grease, wax, paint, or aluminum.

Modern life offers a variety of paper communication tools, so it is easy to amass a small fortune of printed materials at-home and in the office.

It is estimated that the US uses sixty-eight million trees each year making products, and paper still makes up the largest portion of the municipal-solid-waste (MSW) stream.

Sustainability initiatives are being created with the intent to recover 70 percent of paper products by 2020. Many paper products can be recovered up to seven times before strength and durability are lost, so recycling paper is an effective way to conserve resources, and reduce landfilling. You can do your part by making a point to recycle all the paper you can from your home and office.

If you are the creative type, there are also plenty of fun ways to reuse valuable printed materials such as business cards and paint strips.

You can take your environmental participation a step further by ensuring you purchase paper products that are responsibly sourced. This is especially important with helping to maintain paper-production transparency. Simply look for products that are marked with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) seal. This means the paper product has been made from forests that are managed responsibly.

Recycling printed matter is a simple, yet effective way to make the most use out of trees that have already been converted into printed material.

SOURCES: EPA, WM

Do you use business cards or other card stock? How do you ensure your paper is responsibly sourced? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Susan B. 2 days ago
    The only concern I'd have is that some business cards, like greeting cards and wrapping paper, may have metallic ink. My recycling company says not to include any paper that has metallic ink on it.
  • Margaret H. 5 days ago
    Oh god...not this again. One more time for the dishonest people at Reclycebank and the morons who just blindly accept that BS...the demand for paper in the US results in MORE trees...not less. No one is chopping down Amazonian rain forests to make that ream of paper you put in your printer. The are made from trees that exist SOLELY to supply the paper industry with wood pulp to meet the demand for paper products. If that demand drops, than there is no longer any need for those trees. And guess what? Those trees WILL NOT REMAIN! Someone spent millions of dollars buying up that land for the purpose of growing those trees. If the demand was no longer her, he is NOT going to take a multi-million dollar loss on that land and simply let it grow over into a forest. (It wouldn't grow into a forest anyway. The trees are planted too close together to allow them to get too big.) So, without the demand for paper, that land which currently mans thousands and thousands of acres of trees would be totally razed and sold to someone who would develop that land for something OTHER than trees.
    • Laurie D. 2 days ago
      Hey Margaret unsubscribe why don't you. Recycling is a good thing.
    • Andrea S. 2 days ago
      You make some very valid points. Forests planted to supply the pulp industry are managed carefully, and provide a lot of cover for wildlife. After harvest, they're replanted. And from an economic standpoint, I agree that if demand for pulp dried up, the trees would disappear--probably to a developer who'd put up acres of tacky "McMansions." Economic illiteracy runs rampant, however, so don't expect many converts.

      While I agree with Laurie that recycling can be a good thing, please, folks, let's not turn it into a religion. Recycling isn't without costs. From what I've read, some dangerous aspects of the process (with respect to electronics, for example) are farmed out to 3rd world countries, where kids pick through piles of hazardous waste. How's that "good?"

      I recycle as much as I can, but I'm not about to clutter my house with little piles of stuff while I search for somebody to take them off my hands. Nor will I drive 25 or 30 miles to drop off an item that my town's contractor won't take. I also refuse to waste my time trying to read illegible recycling symbols on a container. Nor do I "sweat the details" when it comes to the recycle codes. Sometimes you just have to say "Enough already!"
    • Duane W. 2 days ago
      "Junkyard Planet," by Adam Minter, is a very good read on this subject. Adam grew up in the salvage business, and he has a behind-the-scenes look - and take - on the subject.
  • joanna l. 6 days ago
    The business cards with the magnetic back are fun, you can paste a photo or a saying over the image on the front and stick it to your fridge.
    • Erica D. 4 days ago
      I wouldn't have thought of that, but that is a good idea! Next time I will put a favorite picture on there and re-use the magnet! :)
  • joanna l. 6 days ago
    I keep an old fashioned phone book...it works for me and I keep a set of individual cards in my desk
  • joanna l. 6 days ago
    Its best not to take the cards in the first place...(I think that most people have contacts on their phone)
    • erica m. 2 days ago
      Sometimes it's easy to ask if they have a website or other online presence, I go straight to that and then I know I have more information than could possibly ever fit on one business card.
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