Ever wondered what happens to the newspapers and magazines that you recycle at your local recycling bank?
Much of Derbyshire’s waste paper ends up at Aylesford Newsprint Ltd in Kent, where it is made into new paper.
Gemma Barratt, head of recycling at Aylesford Newsprint, said: “Used newspapers and magazines are not waste – they’re essential raw material. If they weren’t recycled into new paper they would end up in landfill – and that would be a waste.
“We use 100 per cent recycled paper to produce newsprint here, so recycling really does benefit the environment.
“With about a fifth of household rubbish being newspapers and magazines you would need a forest the size of Wales to provide the amount of paper Britain uses each year.”
Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for technology and recycling, Coun John Allsop, visited the plant to take a look.
He said: “Using recycled materials to make paper uses less energy than that required for producing new paper from raw materials – even when you add all the associated costs including transport, and so on.
“It’s amazing to think that the newspapers we buy have had previous lives as other newspapers or magazines.
“It’s good to be able to see first-hand the difference recycling makes. This plant recycles 500,000 tonnes of paper every year.
“The idea of burying all that in landfill doesn’t bear thinking about and doesn’t make sense.
“The people of Derbyshire have always been good at recycling paper so it’s good to show them the good work they’re doing, how beneficial their efforts are – and encourage them to keep on recycling.”