Americans are pretty good at recycling paper — we recycle about 315 pounds per person every year. But what becomes of that paper after it hits your blue bin? This video from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries sheds light on the process, giving a quick primer on how paper is sorted, how it evolves into something new, and how recycling 1 ton of it saves 7,000 gallons of water.

Feature image courtesy of Abhi

By Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is based in Seattle, where recycling is just as cool as Macklemore, walking in the rain without an umbrella, and eating locally sourced food. She writes for a wide range of publications, covering everything from sustainability to fitness to travel. Read more of her work here.