They used to say that today's news was tomorrow's chip paper. While the days of getting your fish supper wrapped in newsprint are long gone, there is now an even better use for your old papers.

Today you can do your bit to help tackle global warming by recycling your newspapers when you have finished reading them.

Although the quantity being reused is at its highest-ever level, there is still room for improvement.

Readers are getting through a staggering average of 38kg of newspapers each per year - and 50 per cent of them are currently being recycled.

It marks a significant increase in the number of newspapers recycled in the UK - in 2001/02 just 40 per cent was being re-used.

Despite the improvement, that means that about half of all newspapers sold are still evading recycling programmes.

Currently about 30 per cent of newspapers - the equivalent to 700,000 tonnes of paper and enough to fill the Albert Hall seven times - end up in landfill sites around the country.

While newsprint only makes up three per cent of total landfill, when paper rots it produces carbon gases which contribute to the greenhouse effect.

If everyone recycled their newspapers, about 2.8 billion papers would be diverted from landfill each year, upping the total amount of waste paper recycled by nine per cent.

Publishers are helping to do their share by using increased levels of recycled newsprint in newspapers in an effort to crack down on the quantity of paper going into landfill.

While some local authorities collect waste paper for recycling directly from residents' houses, most have banks where people can deposit their waste goods for recycling.

o Visit WRAP website to find out about the local recycling collection service and facilities where you live.

Newspaper bosses have smashed challenging recycling targets as the industry becomes increasingly eco-friendly.

By trebling the amount of recycled paper used to make standard newsprint in less than 20 years, UK publishers have ensured that the industry is greener than ever before.

Newsprint requires a level of "virgin" paper and cannot be made entirely from recycled material.

But today, more than 80 per cent of the paper used to make standard newsprint has been recycled at least once, in stark contrast with just 28 per cent in 1991 when an agreement to make the industry greener was reached.

Newspapers are made from wood taken from softwood coniferous forests, mainly in North America and Europe. Hardwoods from tropical rainforests are not suitable for newsprint.

For every tree that is felled, two or three more are planted.

With technological advances meaning that paper can be recycled in just seven days, two consecutive editions of a weekly newspaper can now be printed on the same newsprint.

The material cannot be recycled indefinitely and when newsprint starts to deteriorate, "virgin" paper is required in the mix.

Stewart Dunn, managing director of Newsquest Hampshire which owns the Daily Echo, said: "We recognise that we play an important part in communicating the green message but also a fundamental role in helping the environment through our manufacturing and distribution processes.

"For some time we have recognised as an industry that we can't go on cutting down trees and we have worked with the mills constantly over the last ten to 15 years to use recycled newsprint.

"To help that process all our returns waste (the papers that come back from the newsagents) and our white waste is recycled here on site. It is all put in a compactor and taken away."

Every copy of the Daily Echo contains in excess of 85 per cent recycled newsprint.

Newsquest Hampshire also recycles all printing plates and all the inks used are totally soluble and environmentally friendly.

The company's entire fleet of cars and vans were changed to diesel over the last few years to reduce CO2 emissions.

Mr Dunn added: "We have recently undertaken an environmental audit to see how friendly we are and to see what more we can do to help the environment. We are awaiting the results."