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4 Ways to Re-use Your Shredded Paper

Published on 02 September 2014

The shredding of confidential documents and recycling in the workplace have been in discussion a lot recently, for both positive and negative reasons. Due to this, many people are becoming much more aware of protecting their personal details and are being alerted to the positive aspects of shredding old documents such as bank statements and old bills. If you do decide to shred these papers at home, although many councils are more than happy to take away the shredded paper along with other recyclable household waste, there are plenty of other more creative options for the re-use of the paper too.

Animal Bedding

Perhaps you or one of your family members has a furry friend such as a hamster or gerbil to take care of? Buying sawdust and bedding can be costly month-in-month-out, but unfortunately it's a necessary part of caring for your pet; however shredded paper can be used as a free alternative. Adding your shredded paper under a thin layer of sawdust, or even as an alternative to bedding, can reduce the amount of sawdust you need to use each time you clean out your pet, meaning you won't have to buy it as often. Ensure what you're using is non-toxic when opting to put this in your animals cage though. More often than not, the paper will be fine, but the inks used on it may not be, so be sure to double check.

Make Your Own Paper

Once paper has been taken away to a paper mill to be shredded and recycled, it is often turned into recycled, new paper. It may seem like a complicated process, but actually it is pretty easy for you to create your own paper at home. Simply mix it with water into a pulp, spread it over a non-rusting screen, let it drain and then use a rolling pin or jar to get rid of the rest of the water, leave for 12-24 hours and there you have it! Although the paper will be thicker than normal paper, it will have a fantastic texture and is great for arts and crafts such as card making. You can learn more about the process here.

Compost and Garden Nutrients

There are several ways to use shredded paper within the garden. One way is to mix non-toxic, shredded paper or newspaper with water, turning it into a product known as ‘mulch', this can then be added directly into the soil and will eventually biodegrade and add nutrition to the earth. Similarly, by adding layers of shredded paper to your compost heap, it will rot away with the other household and garden waste and leave you with some fantastic compost for your garden.

Use it for Packaging

Just about everyone seems to be buying and selling online these days and when it comes to selling your unwanted items you must ensure that you package them well in order to minimise any chance of damage in transit. Shredded paper can offer the perfect solution to this and it won't add much extra weight to the parcel when you send it out. Opt for paper shredded from glossy magazines or documents with non-transferable ink, as things like newspapers could taint your goods.

So there you have it, some creative and practical ways you can recycle and re-use shredded paper, but there are plenty of other ways for you to recycle at home or in the workplace too, just do a little research and you might be surprised!

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