The world uses a LOT of paper! Every time you or a business uses non-recycled paper it affects the environment by the cutting down of trees, the pulp-making process, and the energy it takes to make and transport the product. But guess what, society needs paper! Without it we wouldn’t have libraries or books, plus all the other things we use paper for. We just don’t need to use so much paper, and when we do use it, going the recycled paper route is the best way to go.
Using 100% post-consumer recycled paper affects the environment too, of course, but not nearly as much as using non-recycled paper. Yes, recycled paper still needs to be manufactured and transported; but no new trees need to be cut down, the manufacturing process is much more environmentally-friendly, and using recycled paper means less virgin paper ends up in landfills.
If just one small business switched to using 100% recycled paper it wouldn’t make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things, we admit. But if hundreds or thousands of organizations made the move to using 100% recycled paper and adopted effective paper reduction practices, then that we know will make a big difference! And that’s what we’re in the businesses of making happen! Every little bit helps, and our contribution involves bits of paper!
(Click here for other, non-paper ways you can help the environment).
Did you know that …?
According to Planet Relief (from the Jane Goodall Institute):
- “In 2003 the average Canadian used 91.4 kg of paper per year. That’s 20,000 sheets!”
According to the American Forest and Paper Association:
- “Paper recovery increased by 1.2 million tons in 2011, lifting the U.S. paper recovery rate to a record-high 66.8 percent. That’s up from 63.5 percent in 2010 and 33.5 percent in 1990.”
- “Every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.”
- “In 2011 the amount of paper recovered for recycling averaged 338 pounds for each man, woman and child in the United States.”
According to the Environmental Paper Network:
- “In the landfill, where 80% of discarded paper ends up, the decomposition of paper produces methane, a greenhouse gas with 21 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide. “
- “Between 2.2 and 4.4 tons of wood are cut and transported for every ton of virgin pulp, versus 1.4 tons of waste paper for a ton of recycled pulp.”
- “On a national level, when paper is thrown away, 20% is sent to an incinerator and 80% goes to a landfill; once in the landfill, parts of the paper begin to decompose and release methane.”
According to the non-profit organization Conservatree:
- It takes about 12 trees to make 1 ton of newsprint.
- It takes about 24 trees to make 1 ton of office paper.
Did you know that …?
The following are some interesting statistics about recycling and paper use in Canada:
According to Statistics Canada,
- “In 2004, Canadian households produced 13.4 million tonnes of waste. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of this waste was sent for disposal, … while the rest was recycled.“
- “Residential waste production increased by 2.1 million tonnes (19%) between 2000 and 2004. While some of the increase was due to a rise in population, most was a result of increases in the amount of waste generated per person.”
- “Canadians produced 366 kg per person of residential waste in 2000; by 2004, this figure had increased to 418 kg per person. By way of comparison, residential waste production by our neighbours in the United States was 440 kg per person in 2001.“
- “Recycling is becoming a more popular method of dealing with trash. Two-thirds of the increase in waste generation between 2000 and 2004 was offset by increased recycling, while the other third was disposed of in landfills and incinerators. Households across the country sent nearly 3.6 million tonnes of materials for recycling in 2004, an increase of 65% compared to 2000.”
And according to the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States:
- “Paper accounts for more than a third of all recyclables collected in the US, by weight. Nearly forty-five million tons of paper and paperboard were recovered in 2010—a recycling rate of over 63 percent.”
- “About 37 percent of the fiber used to make new paper products in the US came from recycled sources in 2010.”
- In the US, “about 72 percent of newspaper/mechanical papers and 85 percent of corrugated cardboard were recovered in 2010.”
- “About 71 million tons of paper and paperboard” is used annually in the United States. Also, “each year more than 2 billion books, 350 million magazines, and 24 billion newspapers are published” in the US alone.