Why it matters

Paper Sustainability

Facts about the paper industry

The paper/pulp industry is the third largest contributor of pollution in the industrialized world.

Water is used in the process of making paper, in fact, so much water that the paper/pulp industry is the largest consumer and polluter of water.

The paper industry is brutal on the environment of our planet: Cutting trees pollutes waterways and wreaks havoc on the habitat wildlife and the eco-system depends on.

Paper and packaging products are the largest contributors to landfills. Reusing paper lessens the need to cut trees and lowers energy use and pollution.

A ton of recycled paper produces a ton of new paper. How much better is that than cutting virgin wood!

Facts about recycled paper

Paper with 30% recycled content doesn’t cut it

Thanks to CONSERVATREE for allowing us to reprint the following from their website:

MYTH: All paper is recycled now, so there is no need to ask for it.
FACT: Even at the height of its success, recycled paper only had about 10% of the printing and writing paper market and even those papers contained mostly virgin materials. Now distributors, printers and paper mills say that demand is dropping because buyers believe they no longer have to ask for recycled. Yet more than 90% of the printing and writing paper made in this country today is still virgin paper.

MYTH: It is better to burn paper for energy than to recycle it.
FACT: The fibers in fine paper can be recycled up to a dozen times before becoming too short for papermaking, saving resources, water and energy, and reducing pollution each one of those times. The impact and value of these repeated savings are much greater than the minimal amount of energy produced when the paper is burned instead.

MYTH: Making recycled paper is environmentally damaging.
FACT: Recycled paper production saves trees, energy and water, produces less pollution, uses more benign chemicals, and requires less bleaching than virgin paper production. It also solves a community disposal problem. The only area in which recycled paper creates more disposal materials is in the greater amount of sludge produced than virgin papermaking. But the problem materials that fall into recycled paper sludge would otherwise have been scattered throughout landfills or concentrated in incinerator emissions or ash. Recycling mill sludge becomes an environmentally preferable way of handling potentially toxic materials such as inks and additives. The sludge of many recycling mills tests non-toxic. Sludge that tests hazardous can be disposed of by an environmentally controlled method.

Like to read more about this? Check out Illegal Logging Info

Quotable

“Once a company makes an environmental statement, its direct competitor is now conspicuous by its absence if it hasn’t too. Consumers are suspicious of that silence…. There is an underlying expectation that we are asking more questions about companies’ intentions. That is partly a phenomenon of the digital age where consumers are used to interviewing brands like they might be interviewing people for a job.”

— Alison Burns, CEO of JWT London