Will Covid-19 make us re-think our usage of paper?

In the digital age paper is quickly becoming redundant in many homes and businesses; however that doesn’t mean that the UK is doing all it can in regards to its paper waste management and recycling.

Whilst approximately 78% of paper is retrieved and recycled in the UK there are still growing concerns about overall paper usage affecting the environment. In fact, consumption of paper has increased globally year on year since 1980, with each person in the UK using an estimated 4.48 trees per year.

This raises the question how is the UK reducing its paper usage and what are businesses doing to reduce the amount of waste paper they produce? And how has the current COVID-19 pandemic changes the way that businesses use paper documents within their day to day operations.

How has COVID-19 affected paper usage?

During these difficult circumstances many businesses have chosen or been forced to work from home removing the need for in-office paper documents as they are unable to be shared between employees and clients.

This has led to an increase in the use of digital communication software such as Skype and Zoom as alternative methods of businesses to share documents and ideas without having to take notes or write things down on paper.

Furthermore, paper has been more difficult to come by due to the COVID-19 outbreak with one company in Finland reporting a first quarter loss due to “Challenging harvesting conditions and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This impact on the paper industry, whilst negative for the production companies, has likely to have dramatically reduced the amount of paper that businesses are using as they are unable to obtain the regular supply and are having to use alternatives such as digitalised documents

Paperless business environments

With the introduction of more sophisticated technology and software many businesses are removing the need for large amount of paper in their office by effectively utilising programmes such as Microsoft office and Google docs as alternatives to traditional paper.

Alternatively, many businesses are using digital forms of their paper documents by digitising them using a document scanning process. Document scanning involves the digitising of documents to allow businesses quick and easy access to their documents.

Not only is digitising your documents eco-friendly and beneficial – even more so now, but having an online hub of your important documents can improve business efficiency in the long term as documents are often easier to find and access, even by multiple employees.

Want to find out more?

Here at RADS we provide secure document scanning services to a range of businesses across a variety of sectors, including financial and medical as well as legal and commercial, to ensure that you always have access to essential documents when you need them most, even whilst working remotely.

If you require secure document scanning for your paper documents or any of our document management services such as storage or shredding, please contact our friendly team today to discuss your requirements.