My Little Paper Recycling Project

Paper industry is considered as one of the world’s largest consumers of fossil fuels and biggest industrial polluter. The industry is criticized by environmental groups for being responsible for massive deforestation around the world. With the use of modern technology such as the printing press and the highly mechanised harvesting of wood, paper has become a cheap commodity. This has led to a high level of consumption and waste. Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the past 40 years, with 35% of harvested trees being used for paper manufacture.

paper recycling project for schools

Paper wastes constitute as much as one-fourth of the solid wastes stream in the Middle East. Infact the percentage of paper wastes in municipal solid waste is around 28 percent in GCC countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman. These grim statistics are a major wake-up call for all concerned stakeholders to cut down on paper consumption and adopt paper recycling in a big way. High paper consumption and waste generation rate in the Middle East makes it imperative on regional countries to embrace the sustainable waste management strategy involving Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Why Recycling?

Material recycling process is one of the best ways to protect the environment. Waste management can be initiated in private households and organizations by minimizing the consumption of electricity, water, food, paper etc.

Recycling is processing used materials (waste) into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Use of 3Rs of waste management can also reduce dependence on landfills, protect environment, conserve natural resources and also generate revenues.

How to Make Pencils from Paper Wastes

I started this project last year in my college to encourage and motivate students to recycle papers. Like other educational institutions, paper consumption is very high in our college and I devised a simple cost-effective method to transform old papers and magazines into a high-quality quality pencil which can be used at school or at work. The following materials are required to start your paper recycling project.

  • White Glue
  • Lead from any stationary store
  • Old newspapers
  • Pencil for drawing lines
  • Ruler
  • Scissor

Step 1

Use 4 to 5 pages of the newspaper and measure the right size for the lead which is about 18 cm length x 10cm width. You can also draw with the pencil to make sure it fits the right size of the lead.

pencil from old newspaper

Step 2

Cut the newspaper following the lines you have drawn and it will look like a rectangle shape.

pencil from paper waste

Step 3

Apply glue at the edge of the rectangle shaped-paper and place the lead to start the rolling process.

pencil from newspaper

Step 4

Carefully roll the paper with lead inside by using glue at fixed intervals.

how to make pencil from paper waste

Step 5

After finishing the rolling process, let it dry for few minutes. Re-start the rolling process with another piece of newspaper until the pencil is of the same size as a regular wood pencil. Finally, your pencil, which will be same as a normal wooden pencil, is ready for use.

pencil from waste paper

What Can You Do?

Be an active part of your local environmental community by participating and organizing paper recycling campaigns at your school, college or organizations. This also works when you are at home by sending reminders and emails through social networks and building global communities by sharing recycling ideas and activities that people can adapt while they are moving on their daily activities.

Please propagate this environmental message among your friends and co-workers. These 5 simple steps have the potential to make a big impact on the environment. Don’t forget that recycling a ton of paper saves 17 trees and 3.3 cubic yards in landfill space!

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About Fatima Al-Banna

Fatima Al-Banna is a bachelor student at Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology majoring in Business Administration and Marketing. Her environmental passion started at college with a mission to create and develop campaigns and projects to address the students and faculty impact at the campus in terms of the sustainability level through the support from her mentors. She is an environmental activist and has been a part of numerous green campaigns. She has initiated paper recycling projects and also runs Facebook page of her sustainability club in college, Sustain Our Society (SOS). Fatima has worked with Bee’ah in creating mass awareness on waste management strategies.

33 Responses to My Little Paper Recycling Project

  1. Pingback: My Little Paper Recycling Project « Cleantech Solutions

  2. abdul rauf says:


  3. Fatima Al-Banna says:

    Thank you 🙂

  4. N K Maheshwari says:

    Making pencil from paper waste is an excellent and innovative idea.

  5. Hi, I have just seen your recycling project. Very interesting. I work with recycling of paper, plastic and polestyrene – but have never seen an idea like this one before.

  6. Fatima A-Banna says:

    Yes it is a very innovative idea and it is very easy, you should try sometime 🙂

    Thank you for your comment.

  7. Dina says:

    Nice work and appreciated concern for the environment, Thanks for sharing 🙂 but wanted to just stress on one point if you may correct me, isn’t this example stated represent a reusing process not recycling because recycling is when the material is re-manufactured in order to return to its abstract form?

  8. Fatima Al-Banna says:

    Hi dear Dina,
    Thank you for your comment. I do take your point. Many people have stressed similar question just like you did. I do consider my project as both (reuse & recycle). I mean collecting unwanted newspapers and recycle them and reuse them to make a pencil which I can use them for school and so on 🙂

  9. Dina says:

    Thanks dear Fatima,

    well because we focus at work for the youth to differentiate between the 3Rs, I can see yr project going under Reusing mostly 🙂

  10. Fatima Al-Banna says:

    Hi dear Dina,

    Thank you for your concern and for taking the trouble to send out the link, I have looked at it 🙂

  11. Mohamed Sarifdeen Rakeeb says:

    Very good thought and innovative idea. This practice can be introduced at school level in line with bringing more awareness and participation of school children on waste management at their premises.

  12. Fatima Al-Banna says:

    Hi Muhamed,

    Thank you for your suggestion, it sounds like an interesting one. I am tryig my best to raise awareness by using different social media and at college as well 🙂

  13. Dina says:

    You welcome dear Fatima 🙂 actually I may write an article about the 3Rs inshallah 🙂

  14. Fatima Al-Banna says:

    That will be interesting to read dear Dina 🙂 Thank you again. 

  15. Mary says:

    Fatima, keep up the good work .

  16. Very proud to read this article and the ideas you are giving us. Hope you will be able to share more ideas such as this soon 🙂 You are making a difference!

  17. Fatima Al-Banna says:

    Dear Mary, thank you for your kind response and for sharing your ideas on recycling and reusing 🙂

    & thank you Mrs. Susan for the encouraging response 😀

  18. Braz says:

    Good Work

  19. Vinoth.s.v. says:

    Execellent initiative

  20. Saqib Q. Hashmi says:

    Really a good work. Keep it up. It shows your love towards “CLEAN N GREEN ENVIRONMENT”.
    We must teach our kids from early ages for such type of positive work.

  21. fripax says:

    wow,i don’t only like it but also i love it congzz. courage and support us

  22. Gaurav says:

    Hi mam Are you still into this business ?
    I was planning to setup workshop and hence need more help on this?

    • opondo kelvin otieno says:

      do you have any other initiatives on recycling of papers or reusing.. am in kenya and would be glad to learn more of this.

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  31. Salma says:

    Hi ! I love idea but my teacher wanted to ask a question. How can you make this improve?

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