Many organizations today are aware of the importance of their impact on the environment, and take steps toward a more “green” approach. With this interest in preserving the environment, paper usage is often a hot topic. The ultimate question is: are paper products hurting or helping the environment?
If your business is using products made from the paper converting process, you are probably improving the environment more than you think. The paper industry has made progress by reducing the consumption of fossil fuels; and paper products are not only highly customizable, they are recyclable, biodegradable and often less expensive than plastic materials.
Here are three important facts about the paper manufacturing process.
1. Trees are not going anywhere. According to the American Forest and Paper Association, for the past 100 years, the total forest area has been stable. In fact, one-third of the United States is forested, about 750 million acres. In addition, the United States has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day celebration more than 40 years ago. In all, most forests are regularly regenerated, making forests renewable resources indefinitely.
2. Recycled paper has a purpose. Recycled paper is used to create many products such as newspapers, bath tissues and product packaging. While recycling paper will extend the life of virgin fiber, it can only be recycled 5 to 7 times before wearing out completely.
3. Landfills are little lighter with recycled paper. Paper accounts for more than a half of all recyclables collected in the US, by weight. About forty-four million tons of paper and paperboard were recovered in 2012—a recycling rate of about 65 percent, according to the EPA. On the other hand, only 9 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2012 was recovered for recycling. Not only is paper the most recyclable material on the market today, it’s also biodegradable.
Considering how the paper converting process affects the environment is one way to build confidence about using paper products at your business.