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Easy Farming
Easy Farming

Tons of paper produced

A useful but wasteful product…
With the improvement in technology and the advent of the printing press and the mechanical harvesting of wood, disposable paper became more affordable for the average consumer. This resulted in a drastic increase in consumption and of course, waste – which all contributed to Paper Pollution. It is estimated that 40% of the waste in the U.S. is paper.
The environmental impact of paper production is important to note since it has many negative effects. Here are some of them:
• 40% of the world’s commercially cut timber is used for the production of paper.
• Pulpwood plantations and mills endanger natural habitats.
• Over 30 million acres of forest are destroyed annually.
• The pulp and paper industry is a big contributor to the problem of deforestation and is partly to blame for the endangerment of some species that live in the forests.
• The life cycle of paper is damaging to the environment from beginning to end. It starts off with a tree being cut down and ends its life by being burned – emitting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
• Paper production uses up lots of water. An A4 paper requires 10 liters of water per sheet.
• Most of the materials in landfills are made of paper. When paper rots, it emits methane, a greenhouse gas. When it is burned or composted, carbon dioxide.
More: How Can We Stop Deforestation?
• Pulp and paper mills discharge water that’s riddled with solids, dissolved organic matter called lignin, alcohol, inorganic material such as cholates, chlorineand metal compounds. All of this contributes to soil and water pollution.
• The paper industry is the 5th largest consumer of energy in the world. It uses up 4% of the world’s energy. To produce 1 ton of virgin paper, it is estimated that 253 gallons of petrol is used.
Minimizing Paper Pollution
Paper is recyclable, but not everyone recycles. We need to make an effort to be consistent about recycling. We’ve come to the point where people need to contribute to a greener environment by changing the way they manage their personal wastes. Remember to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – and encourage everyone you know to do it.
Buy recycled paper and encourage the paper industry to use environment friendly ways of manufacturing paper. As a consumer, you can influence how industries produce the products that you buy.
Read more about our current environmental challenges and how you can help save our planet – and in so doing, save the Earth for our future generations.
Tons of paper produced
Paper comes from Trees…
In today’s electronic age, people are starting to consider going paperless. But there’s still a long way to go before we lose our dependence on this very important human product.
From our newspapers to our paper wrappings, paper is still everywhere and most of them are ending up in our landfills creating a staggering amount of paper waste. There was a time when paper was a rare and precious commodity. Now it fills our planet. It was initially invented as a tool for communication, but today, paper is used more for packaging.
To produce paper takes twice the energy used to produce a plastic bag. Everything takes energy to produce.
In the case of paper, it also involves cutting down trees. Deforestation is one of the main environmental problems we’re facing in these times. 42% of all global wood harvest is used to make paper. Is it really worth it to cut down our life saving trees for this product?
Let us share with you these interesting paper waste facts. We are so used to seeing products in their completed form that we seldom think of how they are made and what happens after we dispose of them.
Facts about Paper and Paper Waste
• As we speak, more than 199 tons of paper has already been produced.
• 324 liters of water is used to make 1 kilogram of paper.
• 10 liters of water is needed to make one piece of A4 paper.
• 93% of paper comes from trees.
• 50% of the waste of businesses is composed of paper.
• To print a Sunday edition of the New York Times requires 75,000 trees!
• Recycling 1 ton of paper saves around 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 liters of water and 17 trees.
• Packaging makes up 1/3 or more of our trash.
• U.S offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper a year.
• Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste.
• With all the paper we waste each year, we can build a 12 foot high wall of paper from New York to California!
• Lessening of paper usage was predicted due to the electronic revolution. It didn’t happen. Demand for paper is expected to double before 2030.
• Every tree produces enough oxygen for 3 people to breathe.
More: Environmental Degradation Facts
Environmental Effects of Paper Waste
Deforestation is the primary effect of our mindless use of paper. Conservation groups have made an admirable headway in protecting ecologically rich forests and limiting commercial access. This is great progress for mankind! Just imagine how long a tree will grow to its full size…. We are only just realizing the wasted use of our trees - trees that give off oxygen and protect the planet from further Global Warming.
More: Consequences of Depletion of Natural Resources
Paper pollution is another effect of paper waste and it’s a serious problem. It is estimated that by 2020, paper mills will be producing 500,000,000 tons of paper and paperboard each year! We obviously need this product and a reduction of use is not in the horizon. Pulp and paper is the 3rd largest industrial polluter of air, water and soil. Chlorine-based bleaches are used during production which results in toxic materials being released into our water, air and soil. When paper rots, it emits methane gas which is 25 times more toxic than CO2.
10 Easy Ways to Reduce Paper Waste and Pollution
In North America, many paper companies are now modifying their processes to reduce the formation of dioxins. Dioxin is a toxic by-product of the manufacture of paper and it is a carcinogen. We are now seeking renewable sources of paper so we don’t have to cut down our beautiful life-giving trees.
What can you do from your end to reduce paper pollution and waste?
1. Recycle all your paper waste.
2. Be a conscious consumer and buy “100% post-consumer waste recycled”. Buy recycled paper materials or materials that came from sustainable managed forests.
3. In the office, reuse paper. If you’ve only used one side for example, collect them instead of throwing them away. You can bind these sheets and make a notebook using the other side. This small effort reduces paper waste by 50%
4. If you already have a scanned copy of a file, don’t print it anymore unless really needed.
5. Use email instead of paper when communicating with clients and customers.
6. Reduce the use of paper cups and disposable paper plates by keeping reusable items in the office pantry.
7. Encourage your officemates and friends to recycle their paper by putting them in recycling bins.
8. Insist on “Process Chlorine Free” paper materials.
9. Buy products with the least paper packaging. Encourage businesses that follow environment friendly practices.
10. Take advantage of the latest technologies like tablets, computers and smart phones to keep your files and notes.
As a consumer, the way you use and dispose of paper and other paper products greatly affect our paper waste. These small efforts on your part will be a valuable contribution in the resolution of our pollution problems today.


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