Paper, Print and the Environment
LOS ANGELES, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Print on paper isn’t depleting our forests, overwhelming our landfills, or causing global warming. In fact, just the opposite is true–and companies calling for less print or a no-print day, such as Toshiba’s recently abandoned campaign, don’t take into account that paper, and print on paper, is a renewable and recyclable resource.
Here are the facts:
Trees and Paper
- Replenished: Wood, which comes from trees, is the primary material used to make paper. Trees are continually replenished–like wheat and corn, unlike plastic–to ensure that our forests are sustainable.
- Primarily Made in the USA: About 90% of paper and paperboard consumed in the United States is produced in the United States.
- High Supplier: 91% of the wood harvested in the United States comes from privately owned forests. State and tribal 6% and federal supply 2%.
- More Forests Today: Forest growth in the United States exceeds harvest by 37%. There is now 28% more standing timber volume in the U.S. than in 1952.
- A Small User of Forest Resources: Just 11% of the world’s forests are used for paper.
- Largely Made from “Waste”: Overall, 33% of papermaking material comes from recycled paper; 33% comes from wood chips and scrap from sawmills; and 33% comes from virgin trees.
- Recycling: 66.8% of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2010–by volume, more than glass, plastic and aluminum combined.
- Landfill: 16.2% of discards into the landfill are paper and paperboard, of which 41% is paperboard containers and packaging and 59% is all other paper. Plastics, by comparison, comprise 17.3% of discards.
Many think that by foregoing print and paper, they are saving trees and making a sound environmental choice. In fact, print and paper give private landowners a financial incentive to grow trees rather than selling off their land for other uses, such as development.
As Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-Founder, Greenpeace/Chair & Chief Scientist, Greenspirit Strategies Inc. said: “To address climate change, we must use more wood, not less. Using wood sends a signal to the marketplace to grow more trees and to produce more wood. That means we can then use less concrete, steel and plastic — heavy carbon emitters through their production. Trees are the only abundant, biodegradable and renewable global resource.”
Learn more at www.chooseprint.org