The Earth is wasting paper products in many different ways…

  • The earth wastes enough paper every day to cover the netherlands every 5 minutes.
  • Americans throw out enough paper each year to build a 12-foot high wall from New York to Los Angeles.
  • Recycling one ton of paper saves about 17 trees .
  • Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail a year. If 100,000 people stopped their junk mail, we could save up to 150,000 trees annually.
  • A little more than half of all U.S. paper production takes the form of converted paper products, paperboard containers, and boxes (51.1 million tons in 1999).
  • The paper industry is the 4th largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions among United States manufacturing industries, and contributes 9% of the manufacturing sector’s carbon emissions.
  • Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste (and one third of municipal landfill waste).Stack of papers
  • Municipal landfills account for one third of human-related methane emissions (and methane is 23-times more potent a greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide).
  • If the United States cut office paper use by just 10% it would prevent the emission of 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases — the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road.
  • Compared to using virgin wood, paper made with 100% recycled content uses 44% less energy, produces 38% less greenhouse gas emissions, 41% less particulate emissions, 50% less wastewater, 49% less solid waste and — of course — 100% less wood.
  • Printing and writing papers use the least amount of recycled content — just 6%. Tissues use the most, at 45%, and newsprint is not far behind, at 32%.
  • Demand for recycled paper will exceed supply by 1.5 million tons of recycled pulp per year within 10 years.
  • While the paper industry invests in new recycled newsprint and paper packaging plants in the developing world, almost none of the new printing and writing paper mills use recycled content.
  • China, India and the rest of Asia are the fastest growing per-capita users of paper, but they still rank far behind Eastern Europe and Latin America (about 100 pounds per person per year), Australia (about 300 pounds per person per year) and Western Europe (more than 400 pounds per person per year).
  • The Forest Stewardship Council’s certification of sustainable forestry practices is growing, with 50% of the paper product market share and 226 million acres accounted for. Advocates say the demand for recycled paper and sustainably harvested pulp from consumers, advertisers, magazine makers and other users of paper will yield the fastest reforms of the industry.