Assumptions and information in sustainability infographic

The assumptions and data that we used in our Recycling Infographic is something we are proud to be open about, as there are to be no misunderstandings or false information displayed. But rather we want this to be a entertaining and interactive display of the great work we do on sustainability through our recycling services.


  • A bale of recycled paper is 1m3. This is the average size of bale produced at our recycling depots.
  • The Scots Pine is a good tree to use as "a good proxy" for those species felled in Europe for forest products (Gonzalez-Garcia et al. (2009) “Environmental impacts of forest production and supply of pulpwood: Spanish and Swedish case studies” International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment). We've assumed an average height of 30m and average trunk radius of 0.24m based on values provided by the Forestry Commission. These figures are used to calculate an average weight for a specimen.
  • Circa 50% of a tree's weight is cellulose, which is the part useful for paper-making. Paper manufacturing processes aim to optimise the amount of retained cellulose, so we have assumed that of the overall biomass of the tree 50% is available to make paper with.
  • The average density of Scots Pine is 0.41 t/m3. This figure was derived from Arkadiusz, T. et al. (2011) "Wood Density of Scots Pine (Pinus Sylvestris L.) trees broken by wind" Forestry and Wood Technology No. 76 pp 144-148. Using the assumed average height, trunk area and wood density we have calculated that the average weight of a tree to be approximately 2 tonnes.

Tree dimension calculations

  • Average tree area = πr2
  • Average tree volume = average tree height * average tree area
  • Average tree weight = average tree volume * average wood density
  • The number of seats in a Royal Albert Hall is 5272. 
  • Number of Royal Albert Halls filled = (Tonnes Recycled * 0.9 )/ 5272. 


  • The distance from London to Pisa is 1513 km (calculated using Google Maps)
  • Number of trips = ((Tonnes Recycled*0.459)/((72 * 1513)/1000000))
  • The image of the vespa is assumed to correspond to a 50 cc 4 -stroke scooter which emits about 72 g CO2/km (according to Clear, the Carbon Offset Company)


  • Landfilling a tonne of paper emits 0.480 tonnes of CO2 (DEFRA Emissions Factors 2015).
  • Collecting and delivering a tonne of waste paper for recycling emits 0.021 tonnes of CO2 (DEFRA Emissions Factors 2015).  
  • Therefore by recycling a tonne of paper instead of landfilling it, 0.459 tonnes of CO2 are saved. 
  • The size of the Olympic swimming pool is 2500 m(according to FINA Facilities Rules).
  • Number of Olympic swimming pools filled = Cubic meters of landfill saved  / 2500 m2

Last updated: September 14, 2016