A GIANT paper aeroplane was launched yesterday to illustrate how much waste paper is costing offices.

The 35ft plane, made by Government campaign group Envirowise, was made from 1584 sheets of A4 - the average amount of waste paper an office worker generates each month. Envirowise estimates this means 670 million sheets of waste paper a month are produced in the North-East. Laid end-to-end, this would reach halfway to the moon.

Envirowise regional manager Guy Bashford said: "Wasting paper is not only a drain on our environment, but is also a burden on most companies' bottom line - they are wasting money with every piece of paper they use needlessly."

Paper use is rising by about 20 per cent a year, with the average office worker using about 50 sheets of paper a day.

British business sends about five million tonnes of paper to landfill every year, incurring waste disposal costs.

The organisation will be at the Big Day Event, at the Stadium of Light, in Sunderland, on June 30. The event is the culmination of Tyne and Wear Business Week.

Envirowise has launched a free online savings calculator, so businesses can find out how much they could save by reducing paper use.

For details, go to www.maximise profit.org.uk