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Paper Recycling: How to Recycle Paper at Home

Read on to discover some of our top tips, tricks and ideas for recycling paper and newspaper.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

how to recycle paper at home

Did you know that every year, the average person uses around 48 kilograms of paper? To put that in perspective, that’s almost the standard weight of the average woman in the Philippines. If you’re unsure of different ways to recycle paper then a lot of the paper you are using will just end up thrown away as waste, which definitely isn’t good for the environment! Read on to discover some of our top tips, tricks and ideas for recycling paper. We will also share advice for how you can get better at paper recycling; and do your bit to secure a safe future for our planet.

If you want to reduce your waste, as well as using these ideas for recycling paper, purchase products from brands who use reusable or recyclable packaging, such Surf detergents.

How to recycle paper at home

Learning how to recycle paper is a great way to do your bit for the world, taking steps to improve your carbon footprint and the impact you have on the environment. Plus, it is a great way to save money by reusing it for useful purposes! Check out these easy ways of recycling paper that everyone can do:

  1. Recycle Paper for Compost Old paper works brilliantly in composts, helping to create healthy soil that your plants will flourish in, and is a great idea for those looking for easy ways to recycle paper. If you don’t have a compost heap, just rip your paper up into little bits and pop it around your plants, helping to keep the soil damp and boost it with nutrients.

  2. Reuse Paper as Packaging Whether you are putting items in storage, sending presents across the country (or maybe even abroad!) or if you’re in the process of moving home, paper is a perfect packing material. From old newspapers to paper your kids used to scribble on, you can reuse the paper to wrap up fragile items and protect them in transit. You could also use recycled paper by scrunching it up to fill in the gaps in boxes to prevent damage caused by the items inside moving around during being moved from one place to another.

How to recycle newspaper at home

There are some super easy ways to recycle paper like newspaper for new purposes around your home. Read on to discover our top ideas for how to recycle newspaper at home.

  • Clean your mirrors and windows. Scrunched up newspaper is a great alternative to cloths and sponges when it comes to the perfect streak-free clean of your windows and mirrors. Simply mix up some lukewarm water and white vinegar and use the scrunched-up newspaper to clean without the need for harmful chemicals.

  • Give stainless steel a new shine. If you have stainless steel around your home which is looking a little worse for wear, use slightly dampened, wadded up newspaper to give it a scrub and bring back its shine.

  • Create a weed barrier. Newspaper is a great way to prevent weeds growing if you are putting a raised flowerbed into your garden. Simply lay newspaper out before you put in the soil. This should help to prevent weeds invading your beautiful flowers.

  • Get crafty with old newspapers. Newspaper is a great material to use for all sorts of crafty projects. You could use it to protect the surface beneath your crafting or even use it to papier mache something new; for example:

  1. Papier mache around the top of a balloon to create the shape of a bowl. One dry, remove the balloon and decorate your new bowl, which could be used to hold jewellery, keys and more.

  2. Papier mache a fun and unique piñata perfect for any party you have coming up.

  • Line a puppy crate or donate them to shelters. Thanks to the absorbency of newspaper, it makes the perfect liner for crates if you are training your puppy. Alternatively, animal shelters will use it to line their cages, so why not donate your old newspapers to them.

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Top tips for how to recycle paper

Did you know there are ways to recycle paper into new materials from your own home? You may think that doing it yourself involves quite a bit of work, but with our simple steps you will not only find that it’s fun to do but you may also save yourself some money. Plus, recycling your paper at home saves on energy, as it doesn’t need to be taken to the recycling plant and processed away from your home. This means home recycling is also great for the environment.

What you’ll need to recycle paper at home

If you are taking steps to understand how to recycle paper you have left around your home, then you will need the following products to use during the process.

  • Picture frame – take the glass out first

  • A sheet of mesh to cover the picture frame

  • A bowl big enough to hold the picture frame

  • One sponge

  • One towel

  • Tape

Paper recycling instructions

When it comes to understanding how to recycle paper, we have seven easy to follow steps so that you will have some new, recycled paper to use around your home in no time.

  1. Using the mesh sheet, attach it with tape to the edges of the picture frame. This will create a screen on which your new paper will be made. Set this aside as you will need it in a few steps time.

  2. Gather your used paper and rip it into tiny pieces. Add the ripped paper to a bowl filled with warm water, stirring it together until it creates a smooth pulp from the mixture.

  3. Get the picture frame screen and submerge it completely in the bowl, before taking it back out and placing it on the towel.

  4. The mesh screen will be covered in a layer of the pulp. Use the sponge to press the screen. This will help to remove any of the excess water, so that your recycled paper can begin the drying process.

  5. Put the screen aside for a minimum of a day, until it’s completely dry. Once it is dry you will have some lovely, homemade recycled paper to use for a new purpose!

Learning how to recycle paper is something we should all be doing. Not only does it help to save the environment, but it saves you money too. Now you have our top ways to recycle paper you can start making steps in your own home to make a change.    

  • Looking for ideas for recycling paper? Try composting it.

  • One of the top ways to recycle paper is creating a pulp over a mesh screen and leaving it to dry into new paper.

  • Newspaper is perfect for lots of jobs, from cleaning to toilet-training a puppy, so ensure you recycle it.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on recycling paper at home

Where can I donate old newspapers in the Philippines?

If you wish to donate old newspapers in the Philippines, there are a number of places that we can recommend. To start with, the easiest place to drop them off is your local recycling centre or recycling bank. However, there are a number of charities and other places who will also take newspaper donations. These include Dyaryo Bags for Life who weave them into bags and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) who can use it as bedding for some of the animals they rescue.

How do you disinfect newspaper?

If you're wondering how to disinfect newspaper, we’re sorry to disappoint you but there really isn't a way of doing so. Not without ruining the paper it is made from anyway. The likelihood of you transferring any viruses and bacteria from a newspaper is minimal, but if you are worried about it we recommend sanitizing your hands before and after handling the newspaper.

Is newspaper made from recycled paper?

You'll be pleased to discover that a lot of newspaper is made sustainably – whether it is sourced from sustainable sources or made from recycled paper. 100% recycled pulp may not always give adequate strength to newsprint which it needs in order to run on a high speed printing press. So in some cases, a printer may add a supplement of virgin pulp to the recycled pulp in order to meet the required strength.

Why do we need to recycle paper?

In a world that is becoming increasingly aware of the damage that we are doing to the planet and the waste of resources that we have available to us, we should all be doing our part to be more eco-friendly and help the planet. Creating recycled paper used 70% less energy than is required to create it new from trees, meaning that using recycled paper will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to that dreaded climate change.

Originally published