To keep waste as minimal as possible, you might want to find out how to recycle most of the items you use at home and in the office. Fortunately, there are currently various approaches to recycling and reusing some items we deem as waste.
Oh well, one of these items, which of course, can be recycled and reused dozen times, is ordinary paper. People have learned to reduce paper waste with a range of recycling techniques.
For the records, there are wide varieties of paper that can be recycled, including the white office paper, cardboard, white computer paper, catalogs, colored office paper, magazines, newspapers, phone books, and many more.
There are also other categories of paper that can not be recycled or reused. Once they are used, that is the end of their lifetime. They include;
- Shredded paper
- Plastic-coated paper
- Waxed paper
- Gift-wrapping paper
- Sticky paper
- Napkins & tissues
- Paper towels
- Pizza boxes
- Juice & Milk cartons
- Toilet paper, etc.
However, some non-recyclable paper can also be used for other things. You will find at least something to use it for at home; this proves that almost everything can be recycled.
There is a unique kind of paper, which you might ask if it is recyclable; the Laminated paper. Of course, laminated paper is quite different from regular paper, so it is absolutely cool to enquire if it is recyclable.
In the next paragraph, I will reveal if it is possible to recycle laminated paper. I will also give valid reasons to back up my point.
Is it Possible to recycle Laminated Paper?
I will not beat around the bush here; You can not recycle laminated paper; better still, there are no successful methods yet. You might wonder why it is possible to recycle paper but impossible to recycle laminated paper. The answer is not far-fetched.
Laminated paper can be likened to a coated material – whose coating is primarily for protection and little aesthetics. Paper is coated with laminate and referred to as Laminated paper.
The reason why we laminate paper is to prevent the paper from damage. There are various elements that could result in the damage of paper like water, dust, etc. The lamination prevents all of these.
Also, Lamination can contribute to the aesthetics of paper and make it look more appealing and attractive. Many people have gone ahead to laminate important documents for this reason. It’s not a bad idea.
The material used in paper lamination is plastic, which you might not be aware of. The plastic goes through some processes to become transparent and is used for lamination.
Why then can’t I recycle Laminated paper?
During the recycling of paper, water is used for the process. In fact, water is the primary catalyst for the reaction.
Remember I mentioned earlier that a laminated paper literally has a plastic cover. Undoubtedly, water can not react with the paper because of its plastic exterior.
It means you have to get the plastic exterior out before being able to recycle the paper inside. The only way you can get the laminate out of the way is by exposing it to heat.
Heat is the only element that can break down plastic, but unfortunately, the paper will also be at risk. Exposing the laminated paper to heat will only damage the paper inside, and you will end up getting nothing.
Therefore, it is not possible to recycle laminated paper for now. However, there is another approach you can make to reduce paper waste in the environment. I will walk you through the process later in this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Laminated Paper biodegradable?
Biodegradable substances can be decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms to prevent pollution. On the other hand, non-biodegradable substances can not be broken down by these organisms.
Remember that Laminated paper has a plastic exterior, and plastic is not degradable. A laminated paper will spend thousands of years in a dump site because bacteria can not break it down.
The paper inside is biodegradable but will not be decomposed because of its plastic exterior; this is why it is necessary to try as much as possible to reduce the use of laminated paper.
What can I do with Laminated paper?
To prevent unnecessary paper waste, you can reuse laminated paper in many ways than you can ever imagine. I will mention some of these ways in the subsequent paragraphs.
First, you can use your laminated papers to create dry-erase boards. It is one of the best ways to reuse laminated papers rather than dump them in a landfill.
All you have to do is get a magnetic tape and attach it to the laminated paper. You will also need to get a metallic surface so the magnetic property can be utilized.
You can use the dry-erase board for your writing and also erase it with a tissue or dry paper towel.
Another great approach to reusing your laminated paper is using it to line your table; this will prevent your workspace from getting stained unnecessarily.
To line your table with laminated paper, simply lay some of the sheets on the laminated paper. To make it stationary, you can also tape the paper to the table.
When you do this, you can ensure that your workspace will not get stained. You can choose to leave the laminated paper on your table for a long time or simply remove it after usage.
Alternatively, you can use your laminated paper as a craft item. Craft items are used for beautification and aesthetic purposes. You simply need to cut the paper with scissors into various shapes.
However, the use of laminated paper is not limited to what I have mentioned above. You can discover other ways that it can be helpful to you. It is better to reuse it than trash it where it will only add to the pollution of the environment.
It is safe to say that laminated paper can not be recycled. However, there are other ways to go about this without damaging the paper. The only issue is that the process is not a conventional one.
There are few companies around that offer laminated paper recycling for a fee. You can look them up to see which one suits you best.
Personally, I believe the best thing is to reduce the way you laminate paper. There are other ways you can protect paper without having to laminate it. These ways are environmental-friendly.
An example is using a sheet protector or a plastic sleeve. With this approach, you don’t have to burn the paper; you simply have to take the paper out of the sheet protector when it is needed.
You can recycle the paper after taking it out and can also reuse the plastic sleeve or sheet protector later in the future.