Excessive waste of paper and ink

Excessive Waste of Paper and Ink

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Excessive waste of paper and ink

Abstract

The impact of paper and ink in the environment is quite significant. This has caused the changes in the behavior of industries both in personal and business levels. While using the modern technology, like the printing press as well as the highly mechanized wood harvesting has made the disposable paper to be a cheap commodity. The effects are high consumption as well as waste. With the increase in the environmental awareness as a result of lobbying by the environmental organizations as well as the increased government regulation, trends on the sustainability in paper industry and pulp is coming up (Hao et al, 2008).

Several issues emanating from the printing ink on the environment is the fact that ink is made of heavy metals, non renewable resources and volatile organic compounds. The standards on the amount of heavy metals in the ink are set up by certain regulation bodies. A trend has come up where petroleum oil is being replaced by the vegetable oils. The reason for this replacement is the increased demand for improved sustainability. Recycling paper pulp such as Deinking leads to waste slurry that may cause a landfill.

Introduction

The use of paper and ink has several adverse effects and especially on environment. This is mainly known as paper pollution. The pulp mills mainly cause water, land and air pollution. Discarded paper is the main source of the landfill sites which cause more than 35% of the municipal waste before it is recycled. The paper recycling is also a major pollution source as a result of the sludge which emanates from the de inking.

Research has shown that people will continuously require the paper products. However, it is also important to note that there is need for sustainable safe production in the environment. The amount of paper being produced is quite enormous and therefore a significant environmental impact is evident. Approximately 2020 paper mills in the world will produce papers weighing 500,000,000 tons in every year. This means that more efforts are required to make sure the environment is well protected in the processes of production, use, disposal and recycling of the huge volume of the product (Hao et al, 2008).

Paper and pulp makes the third biggest industrial polluter of water, land and air in countries such as Unites States and Canada. They tend to release more than one hundred million kilograms of pollution (toxic ) in every year. In the whole world, the paper and pulp industry makes the fifth heavy consumer of energy hence using about 4% of the energy use in the world (Hao et al, 2008). The paper and pulp industries also make use of excess water in the production of one ton of the finished product as compared to other industries. These among other factors have led to the need for a research to identify the best ways possible which could be used to solve the situation and what should be done. Research was therefore done on the way to curb the problem. The paper identifies the method used, the results and conclusion made.

Methodology

In order to examine each subject within the population, the researcher used an interview to analysis each subject, the interview was used as the most applicable tool of data collection since it was able to obtain the in depth information required by the study. In addition, the study employed the use of case study design as it was able to exhaust all the subjects in the population in terms of data collection. The research further noted that the interview method did go hand in hand with the case study since most of them gave room for probing of each item in the questionnaire.

The researcher identified a population within UK that was used as the study area; a sample was then obtained and used as a representative of the population. In order to avoid bias opinions of the subjects (individuals), the subjects were made to understand the nature of the data required and its intended use at the start of the interview session (Silverman, 1997; 1). On the other hand, the population characteristics consisted of individuals who have used papers and ink for a period of time either as students or employees and were perceived to posses the information required. Twenty individuals were sampled and the interview took an average of thirty minutes. The study believed that sample used had similar characteristics with the population and such was considered a true representative of the other individuals.

To convert the data obtained from the field into useful information, data was analyzed by use of simple statistical measures of tendency such as standard deviation as well as computer programmes like statistical package for social scientist (SPSS). After the information was obtained, it was interpreted and presented in form of charts, graphs, and percentages, the research believed that the above highlighted method of analysis better suited the research objectives (Silverman, 1997; 1). In addition, the use of the presentation methods employed was of high frequency and the most used in many research studies.

Results

The research showed that most of the participants in the research study were students who made 80%. 15 % of the participants were employed while one person was unemployed. Of these participants, 19 were aged between 18-25 years. One person was in the age bracket of 26-35 years. When asked whether they use paper/post it to draw/take note or use a computer /tablet, 55% mentioned they use both while 25% use paper/post it and 20% use computer or tablet.

According to the studies, 45% of the participants were designer major or working as a designer while the rest were not. When asked what they used to draw and write, 42.11% mentioned pen, 52.63% use a pencil while 5.26% used other gadgets. One participant did not respond.65% mentioned they would be interested in smart phone apps which will function the same as paper and post it notes, while 30 % had no interest. One participant mentioned he/she would want other gadgets. Of these participants, 65% agreed that excessive use of paper and ink is often used among many industries, and its creating an environmental impact. They mentioned that they would take part to cut down the use of these items to protect the planet. One person mentioned that he was not ready to cut down the use of the items as they preferred using them. 30% mentioned that they were not sure on whether to cut down the use of the gadgets.

Discussions

The research also involved other workers where half of the participants mentioned that they used paper and computers to draw. 55 % of the workers are design majors while the others are not. According to research, ink, photographic chemical container and solvents are industrial wastes which are hazardous when they are not cleaned for disposal. Some of the printing wastes which are regarded as waste include; rags with ink, the ink tins and also the ink, photographic chemicals and any waste which is placed in the class of dangerous products.

The research showed that most of the industries made use of paper and ink which is causing an environmental impact. 65% of the participants agreed that they could cut down the use of the commodities to save the world. 35% were not sure while 5% said no. The study found out that the wastes emanating from papers have several effects which include; deforestation, water pollution and waste among others. Research showed that in the whole world, the paper consumption has increased for the last forty years to about 400% (Hao et al, 2008). Gases such as nitrogen (IV) oxide as well as sulphur (IV) oxide are gases emanating from the wastes of papers. The two gases lead to the acid rain. On the other hand, carbon (IV) oxide leads to green house effect which causes climate changes (Gupta, 1998).

Water pollution on the other hand is an effect. The waste discharge as a result of paper and pulp mills contain dissolved organic substances, solids and nutrients. There is also chelating agents, inorganic materials such as metals and alcohols. The compounds could be naturally found in the wood and also from the chlorine used in the bleaching of wood pulp which produces very huge amounts (Gupta, 1998).

Research shows that recycling the effluent as well as burning it making use of bioremediation ponds as well as making use of agents which are less damaging in the bleaching and pulping processes could assist in reducing the pollution of water. The discharges could also decolorize water causing the water to lower aesthetics (McDonald & Smithers, 1998). For instance, in the Tarawera River found in New Zealand which was later called the Black rain.

The participants also mentioned the wastes. The paper wastes cause more that 40% of the waste in the US. This adds up to seventy one million tons of waste in every year. The paper wastes face other toxic dyes, ink and polymers which are potentially carcinogenic especially when incinerated with the ground water through the normal burials and landfills. The recycling of paper mitigates the impact (Hao et al, 2008).

Participants also mentioned that the emissions of gases such as hydrogen sulphide, dimethyl sulphide and methyl mercaptan among other compounds are as a result of the odor characteristics observed in the pulp mills which make use of a Kraft process. Some of the other chemicals which are released in water and air from several paper mills are chloroform, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, methanol, mercury, benzene among others.

It was noted that the bleaching of all the chemical pulps has therefore caused much environmental damage especially by releasing organic materials direct in the water ways. Participants cited that most of the pulp mills are found close to the large bodies of water as they require a large amount of water in their processes. Public awareness is therefore increasing and organizations such as Green piece have formed which have an impact in the government and pulping industries to come up with solutions on release of the materials in the environment (Jaggi & Freedman, 1992).

The research pointed that the dioxins are very much toxic and cause severe health effects on humans which include developmental, hormonal, immune and reproductive problems. Most of the human exposure is mainly trough food such as fish, meat, and shellfish among others. The dioxins tend to accumulate on the fatty tissues in the body of animals and moves in the food chain.

Participants noted that it was easy to reduce the ink wastes using methods such as re blending and re working with the old inks which could be done by taking it to the suppliers, change from packing ink on tins and use cartilages, come up with standard ink sequence to reduce the need to clean fountains and changing ink rotation, clean fountains of ink only when one is changing the colors or when ink dries on the runs. The old tins with ink should be cleaned thoroughly (Venkateswaran, 1994).

The research study showed that the effects of paper pollution can be reduced. There are some important changes on sustainable practices (Bai & Sutanto, 2002). Making use of wood mainly from tree plantations address some of the concerns on the reduced old forests. Bleaching was noted to be one of the methods which can be used to lower the emission of compounds such as carcinogenic organochlorines. Hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid and oxygen are some of the compounds used in bleaching of pulp so as to come up with totally chlorine free paper.

Recycling was also noted by some of the participants. Three categories of paper which may be used as feed stocks in making the so called recycled paper are pre consumer and post consumer waste as well as mill broke. Pre consume waste is any material which was actually discarded even before being ready for use by the consumer. Mill broke is the paper trimmings as well as paper scrap emanating from the paper manufacturer. This is recycled internally inside the paper mill. Finally, the post consumer waste is said to be any material which is wasted after the consumer has used. These include the old directories, magazines and mixed papers in the residential areas (Monte et al, 2009). The graph below shows the high market trend for papers.(epa Gov, 2011)

Recommendations

The paper and ink wastes are becoming a major threat in our countries. It is important for the government to come up with heavy penalties for those people and industries who dispose waste unlawfully. This will ensure that the wastes are disposed in a better manner. Industries should conduct waste audit in order to come up with the waste disposing methods and identify the cost saved when this is done. They should calculate the cost incurred in sending the paper and ink onto a landfill as well as the much they could save when the papers are recycled and ink re packed (Kottler, 2011). Industries and companies with waste papers should find market for the waste products if they are not in a position to recycle the waste (Monte et al, 2009).

Conclusion

The paper has successfully identified the best ways possible which could be used to solve the situation and what should be done. A research study was carried out randomly where participants were interviewed. The information obtained was analyzed and discussed in the paper. The results showed that the waste paper causes, air and water pollution. Chemicals such as oxides of nitrogen and sulphur cause acid rain wile carbon (IV) oxide cause the green house effect (Gupta, 1998). The methods used in controlling the wastes have also been mentioned such as recycling, and bleaching. It is therefore important for individuals and companies to come up with better methods of disposing papers and ink to ensure a better environment

Annotated Bibliography

Bai, R., & Sutanto, M. (2002). The practice and challenges of solid waste management in Singapore. Waste Management, 22(5), 557-567.

The paper demonstrates an overview of the solid waste situation and management in Singapore. It also demonstrates the future challenges of the solid waste management.

Epa Gov, (2011) The economics of recycling in Southeast: understanding the whole picture. Recycling Grows Green. Retrieved on 23rd April 2014 from http://www.epa.gov/region4/rcra/mgtoolkit/economic.htmlThe paper describes the economics of recycling and finance on the recycling industry on South Carolina’s industry.

Jaggi, B., & Freedman, M. (1992). An examination of the impact of pollution performance on economic and market performance: pulp and paper firms. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 19(5), 697-713.

The paper mentions about the industrial pollution in US and the measures put in place to ensure adequate disclosure on the information about pollution

Goyal, V. (2011). Health Hazards of Various Hazardous Wastes.

The article mentions of the hazardous waste which leads to potential threats to the environment and public health. The paper cites some of the main sources of the wastes such as the paper and pulp, nuclear wastes among others. The paper continues to identify the hazardous wastes.

Gupta, S., Mohan, K., Prasad, R., Gupta, S., & Kansal, A. (1998). Solid waste management in India: options and opportunities. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 24(2), 137-154.

The book describes the collection of papers in India. The uncontrolled dumping of the waste in the cities and towns is mentioned which has caused the landfills which overflow. This causes a serious environmental effect which causes pollution on water pollution and even cause global warming.

Hao, J. L., Hill, M. J., & Shen, L. Y. (2008). Managing construction waste on-site through system dynamics modelling: the case of Hong Kong. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 15(2), 103-113.

The article provides a decision made to construct a waste cite with the aim of achieving a better demolition and construction of waste management.

Kotler, P. (2011). Reinventing marketing to manage the environmental imperative. Journal of Marketing, 75(4), 132-135.

The journal mentions the impact of zero environment and the growing recognition of finite resources as well as high cost of controlling environment.

Mcdonald, B., & Smithers, M. (1998). Implementing a waste management plan during the construction phase of a project: a case study. Construction Management & Economics, 16(1), 71-78.

The paper mentions about a construction industry in Australia which caused about 15% of solid waste disposed in the landfills every year. It continues to mention that such volumes are recorded else where in other countries. The idea of managing waste is brought up with an aim of reducing the amount placed in the landfills.

Monte, M. C., Fuente, E., Blanco, A., & Negro, C. (2009). Waste management from pulp and paper production in the European Union. Waste management, 29(1), 293-308.

The article highlights on the wastes of paper produced by the paper industries. It continues to mention the fact that the production of paper and pulp from virgin pulp causes less waste and this waste comprise of the same properties as those from deinked pulp even though it has less inorganic.

Silverman, D. (1997) Qualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice. (ed.), London: Sage Publications

The paper deals with the qualitative research methods and especially interview method. It also identifies the benefits of using the interview methods

Venkateswaran, S. (1994). Managing waste: Ecological, economic and social dimensions. Economic and Political Weekly, 2907-2911.

The paper describes the plagues evident in a country as a result of the critical nature and state of the country as a result of the poor solid waste management

Appendix

Which of the following best describes your current employment status?

Student 80%

Employed 15%

Unemployed 5%

Prefer not to answer 0%

What is your age?

0-17 0%

18-25 95%

26-40 5%

40+ 0%

Do you use paper/post it to draw/take note or do you use computer /tablet?

Paper/post it 25%

Computer/tablet 20%

Both 55%

Are you a designer major or working as a designer

Yes 45%

No 55%

Do you use pen or pencil when you draw /write?

Pen 42.11%

Pencil 52.63%

Other (please specify) 5.26%

Would you be interested in smart phone apps which will function the same as paper and post it notes?

Yes 65%

No 30%

Others (Please specify) 5%

Excessive use of paper and ink is often used among many industries, and its creating an environmental impact. Would you take part to cut down the use of these items to protect this planet?

Yes 65%

No 5%

Maybe 30%

Results

The research showed that most of the participants in the research study were students who made 80%. 15 % of the participants were employed while one person was unemployed. Of these participants, 19 were aged between 18-25 years. One person was in the age bracket of 26-35 years. When asked whether they use paper/post it to draw/take note or use a computer /tablet, 55% mentioned they use both while 25% use paper/post it and 20% use computer or tablet.

According to the studies, 45% of the participants were designer major or working as a designer while the rest were not. When asked what they used to draw and write, 42.11% mentioned pen, 52.63% use a pencil while 5.26% used other gadgets. One participant did not respond.65% mentioned they would be interested in smart phone apps which will function the same as paper and post it notes, while 30 % had no interest. One participant mentioned he/she would want other gadgets. Of these participants, 65% agreed that excessive use of paper and ink is often used among many industries, and its creating an environmental impact. They mentioned that they would take part to cut down the use of these items to protect the planet. One person mentioned that he was not ready to cut down the use of the items as they preferred using them. 30% mentioned that they were not sure on whether to cut down the use of the gadgets.