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Magazine Recycling

Magazine Disposal and Recycling

Wondering what to do with old magazines? The good news is that in most cases you can recycle magazines in the UK to give them a new lease of life and avoid landfill. Despite the modern digital age, many magazines are still produced, read, and disposed of every day.

Whether you’ve got loads of old magazines lying around at home or out of date ones in your office reception or kitchen, it’s important you get rid of them in a responsible, safe, and environmentally friendly way. Discover all you need to know about magazine recycling and disposal in this guide.

Magazine recycling

  • Who invented magazines?

    It’s widely agreed that the first magazines were created in England by Richard Steele and Joseph Addison. Richard Steele started publishing a magazine called the Tatler in 1709. Then in 1711 Joseph Addison (who also wrote for the Tatler) began publishing his own magazine named The Spectator. Both these magazines are still going today.

  • What type of waste are old magazines?

    Magazine waste categorises as post-consumer waste. This type of waste is created when materials reach the end of their consumer-product lifecycle and are discarded after use. For example, when magazines and newspapers have been read. Due to the materials they’re made from though, old magazines also class as a type of paper waste.

  • What materials are magazines made from?

    Magazines are made from paper, often with a glossy finish (known as a thin gloss text). Normally the papers used to create magazines are made using paper machines and are often made from pulp. The pulp can usually be mechanical, recycled, or chemical depending on the magazine quality.

    Magazine publishers choose the type of paper that works well in their machinery and meets their customers’ requirements. There are many different grades of papers used to make magazines, which is why some can feel thicker or shinier than others – it depends on the publisher’s choice.

  • Can magazines be recycled?

    Yes, you can recycle magazines in the UK as they’re made from glossy paper that’s widely recycled. Magazines are recyclable as during the recycling process this gloss and ink is removed so the paper itself can be turned into pulp. The plastic sleeve or packaging some magazines come in may also be recyclable.

  • How do you dispose of old magazines?

    Recycling a magazine when it’s no longer needed is the best way to dispose of old magazines. While magazines are treated with certain additives to make the pages look glossy, they can be recycled with your normal paper products. Never throw old magazines into the bin, even if it’s in a poor condition.

    For households, you can dispose of old magazines in your domestic recycling bins. Businesses may have separate paper recycling bins where you can dispose of them alongside newspapers, catalogues, and other similar paper products. Otherwise, you can also throw them away with your dry mixed recycling.

    Magazine businesses use an incredible amount of paper to produce countless magazines around the world. The process of producing and printing paper results in a lot of carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Recycling magazines helps to reduce carbon emissions produced through their disposal.

  • What are some eco-friendly alternatives to magazine disposal?

    Magazines are recyclable, so they’re already quite eco-friendly. As a publisher, you should work out an accurate estimate of how many issues to print – too many will lead to excess waste and the chance of issues ending up in landfill. Choose a paper grade, ink, and a format that’s easily recyclable to reduce waste too.

  • Can you do anything with magazines instead of throwing them away?

    There are a few other things you can do besides recycling magazines to extend their life:

    • Donate to schools or libraries – If you have any old magazines, consider donating them to a school, charity, or public library. They may use them for educational purposes and there can be interest especially for magazines that aren’t topical. If you donate to a charity, we recommend asking for a receipt so you’re eligible for a charitable contribution tax deduction on a return that’s itemised.
    • Trade-in with retailers – Some retailers will pay for old magazines to sell in certain sections. Sometimes the magazine is pulled apart and old artwork framed and sold.
    • Sell to bookstores – Many bookstores buy used magazines to sell to individuals who are aspiring to collect and complete a magazine collection. For instance, if you have previous issues of a certain hobby magazine, a local hobby store owner might be interested in buying the magazines or give you in-store credit.
  • What options are available to recycle magazines?

    The easiest way to recycle magazines is to put them in your household recycling bin. Most local authorities and councils will recycle magazines alongside newspapers and other paper waste for free. If your local recycling programme doesn’t, you can always take them to your local recycling facility.

    For businesses, you’ll need to arrange commercial waste collection of any magazines and paper recycling you have. Contact us to organise this and we’ll provide free paper bins, before our licensed waste carriers collect your old magazines and transport to a nearby facility for recycling.

  • What are some facts about magazines?

    A few facts about magazines are that:

    • The first-ever issue of Vogue was published in 1892, costing only ten cents.
    • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 5 million tons of magazines are thrown away each year.
    • There are still around 2,800 consumer magazines published in the UK every year.
    • Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it’s made using raw materials.
    • Glamour magazine was first launched as Glamour of Hollywood in 1939 and eventually re-branded to become Glamour in 1943 with the tagline “for the girl with the job.”

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