Yesterday I went on a tour of the mill at Aylesford Newsprint and was absolutely fascinated by what I saw. Thinking back over the years as a consultant to many companies I haved toured a dog food factory, a chocolate factory, a salt extraction factory, and a sewage treatment plant but what I saw yesterday was amazing. The first thing you notice as you walk from the car park to reception is how quiet it is - as I walked past a pond two rabbits were merrily nibbling away on the grass completely oblivious to the huge warehouses behind them.
I am real geek when I visit places like this. I love learning about processes I never knew existed and yesterday was no exception. As I went around the Mill I learnt so much about the recycling process mainly because of the professional approach to the tour - you literally start by watching the kerbside recycling lorries dump the magazines and papers you put in your blue box and walk through the same journey they make ending up as reels of paper heading back to the printers. Literally hundreds of thousands of miles of recycled paper is made in Aylesford and as I saw it put into lorries for transportation to clients there is a jolly good chance you'll be reading a newspaper which was made at the Mill tomorrow. And you can take comfort in the fact that it is all made in strict accordance with key environmental objectives.