New Report: Recycled Paper is Green in All Grades
By: Allison Stewart, Green America
Many in the environmental world may wonder, “Doesn’t everyone already know that using recycled paper is better than virgin fiber paper?” Recent “greenwashing” messages have created controversy around the issue of paper production, and those at Green America’s Better Paper Project have recently released a paper to clarify the truth called Green in All Grades.
This white paper shows why using recycled paper is the best choice for the environment, climate, and people. Re-manufacturing paper benefits the environment and helps create jobs. The Paper Calculator tool (provided by the Environmental Paper Network at: www.papercalculator.org) estimates that each ton of recycled magazine paper that replaces virgin fiber paper reduces:
- Energy consumption by 26 percent,
- Greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, and,
- Wastewater by 43 percent.
Reducing energy, chemical, and water use saves natural resources and money for the manufacturer. The social benefits are evident as well. The recent report More Jobs, Less Pollution found that for every 1,000 tons of paper that are recycled rather than sent to a landfill:
- between one and two jobs are created for paper collection,
- two jobs are created for paper processing, and,
- four jobs are created for recycled paper manufacturing.
Scientists have estimated that human activity has degraded almost 80 percent of what remains of the planet’s forests. Producing more virgin paper, which requires further harming our natural ecosystems, is not a sustainable solution to the growing global paper demand. Millions of tons of used paper are still not being collected and reused. There is no shortage of wastepaper available for recovery and recycling; thus, there is no need to allocate recycled content to only certain paper grades.
To improve the magazine industry’s sustainability, there needs to be greater focus and collaboration to accurately address important environmental impacts and measure progress. Together, we can develop creative and actionable solutions that improve the environmental and economic bottom line for paper manufacturers.
“Green in All Grades” will advance the sustainable publishing movement and create a 21st century paper production model that can thrive economically and environmentally. You can access the report here: http://bit.ly/NPaVEK.