The Truth on
5 Paper Myths

Myth No. 1 – paper industry destroys forest
The Truth:

In the U.S., about 4 million trees are planted every day of which our paper industry plants 1.7 million daily. In addition, millions of tree seedlings regenerate naturally. Planting new trees can significantly help to combat global warming. For every ton of wood a forest produces, it removes 1.47 tons of carbon dioxide from the air and replaces it with 1.07 tons of oxygen. There are 750 million acres of forests in the U.S., about the same as 100 years ago, but their net growth is 36 percent higher. About 11 percent of the trees harvested throughout the world is used to make paper.

Myth No. 2 – paper industry is the bigest polluter
The Truth:

Paper is biodegradable, recyclable and comes from an infinitely renewable resource. It does release carbon dioxide but it also plants trees that sequester carbon dioxide. Its liquid effluents are treated before release into the environment. Solids can be fractionated and recycled, burnt, used for other products or land-filled where they biodegrade. Paper is one of the few sustainable products.

Myth No. 3 – paper industry uses too much water
The Truth:

Nearly four decades ago, about 60,000 gallons of water was used per ton of paper; now it is between 400 and15,000 gallons per ton. This water reduction is achieved mainly because of process modifications and/or water recycling and reuse.

Myth No. 4 – paper industry should only use recycled fiber
The Truth:

After between five and eight recycles the fiber becomes useless for making paper thus appropriate amount of new wood fiber must be added to keep the quality of the product. Note that new wood fiber harvested using recognized third-party certified sustainable forestry practices is as or more environmentally sound as the use of recycled fiber.

Myth No. 5 – paper industry is endangered by information technology
The Truth:

Paper is a renewable, recyclable and environmentally sustainable product. On the other hand, electronic servers, have a significant carbon footprint. It is reported that it takes 152 billion KWh per year just to power the data centers that keep the net running. It is estimated that emissions from computers will increase by 280 percent by 2020, which is equal to 1.4 giga-tons of carbon dioxide. Disposal of electronic materials will create added burdens on the environment as see on a “60 Minutes” e-waste segment earlier this year.

5 Paper Myths
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