The Laundry: Paper Recycling at its Very Best


We’ve covered the awesome work of the London-based Bioregional Development Group many times before, including their One Planet Living initiatives, and their pioneering housing development BedZED. We’ve even interviewed the founders of the group, Pooran Desai and Sue Riddlestone. However, so far we have focussed very much on the organization's work with housing, yet it’s less well known that the group has also developed imaginative and effective solutions for radically greener ways of doing things in a whole range of other industries. Their paper recycling operation, The Laundry, is just one of these schemes that both increases the uptake of paper recycling considerably and greatly reduces the emissions involved in the recycling process at the same time. The idea is part great marketing, and part intelligent planning. Participants in the scheme can leave their ‘dirty laundry’ (i.e. waste paper) out in blue laundry bags, which are picked up and ‘cleaned’ – i.e. the waste paper is taken away, and fresh, 100% recycled paper is delivered in its place. This already tackles one major problem with traditional recycling – i.e. if nobody buys recycled products, there’s nowhere for the waste to go. It doesn’t end there though…
Because the folks at The Laundry also ensure that the paper is processed and recycled locally, participants really do get back a proportion of the same paper that they actually recycled – closing the ‘loop’ and ensuring pulp isn’t shipped half-way around the world to be reprocessed in China. According to the Bioregional Development Group, this process results in a whopping 93% reduction in the ecological footprint associated with paper making when compared to virgin pulp. However, even that isn’t enough to satisfy the brain-boxes from BedZED – they’re now making moves to convert their collection fleet to 50% biodiesel, and they have also been investing in carbon offset schemes for remaining emissions. For full details of all the cool green stuff the Laundry is doing, check out their Green Bits page – we’ll bring more news of other fantastic Bioregional projects in the coming days. ::The Laundry:: via The Bioregional Development Group::

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