Knesset Director-General Ronen Plot announced Tuesday that 80% of the paper used in the Israeli parliament will be recycled paper. The decision will take effect immediately after the Pesach recess.

The Knesset`s decision is considered proactive since the ”Green Government Project” specifies that only 25% of the paper used in government offices must be recycled paper.

Plot is spearheading the ”Green Knesset” project, an initiative of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. The decision to dramatically increase the use of recycled paper was reached following a successful pilot program carried out by the Operations Division which showed that the printers in the Knesset work just as well with recycled paper.

The Knesset uses some 10,250 packages of printing paper a year. The shift to recycled paper will have a certain cost, but Plot is also leading a process that will see a significant reduction in the use of paper, meaning the Knesset will spend less on paper in the near future.

As part of the Green Knesset Project and with the aim of saving paper, Knesset Secretary Yardena Meller-Horowitz recently asked MKs to send to the Knesset Secretariat queries and all related materials via email rather than hard copies.

In addition, the Secretariat has begun sending Presidium decisions and reports on Plenum decisions by way of email to MKs. Similarly, the Secretariat will not make hard copies of the bills for preliminary discussions until the MKs specifically request one. These measures will save between 40,000-50,000 sheets of paper a year.

Less than a year ago Knesset employees began to print on both sides of the paper (duplex printing). In addition, 80% of the paper used in the Knesset is ecological and produced from sustainable forests (ones created specifically for the purpose of making paper).

From a global perspective, the importance of using thinner paper is the reduction in the amount of trees necessary for the production of paper. The use of recycled paper reduces the amount of new paper that needs to be produced. It also reduces the number of trees that need to be cut down and the negative global environmental impact.