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."