Why Does Paper Matter?


paper-72063_1280It makes a difference when you buy chlorine free, recycled paper. Every 40 cases of paper:

  • Saves 24 trees, 4,100 kWh of energy, 20,000 litres of water, and 3 cubic metres of landfill;
  • Reduces air pollution by three-quarters; and,
  • Lowers water pollution by one third.

The impact on greenhouse gases which are affecting global climate is also impressive. The One-Tonne Challenge asked you to reduce your annual greenhouse gas emissions by one tonne to help address the threat of climate change.

The verdict is in from world scientists on climate change and the threat is serious, perhaps the most serious threat that the earth faces today.

Learn about the impact of producing paper and what you can do to help

Disrupted climate patterns producing a whole range of impacts such as:

Increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes and ice storms; Species extinction due to weather changes wiping out habitat, food sources, or migration paths; Increased range of tropical diseases from insects; Increased forest fires and droughts with their attendant after-effects; Eroded fresh water quantity and quality impacting health and food supplies; Severe economic fallout from all of these and other climate change impacts Canada needs to act now with the rest of the world to reduce the threat of global climate change and here’s one easy way.

100% Recycled paper produced 37% less Greenhouse gas emissions than virgin fibre paper. That’s over 2000 pounds of Greenhouse Gases for every 40 cases of paper produced. You can save the weight of the paper you use in greenhouse gases by using 100% recycled paper and meet the one tonne challenge with 40 cases of paper.

Using Recycled Paper in your Publications

Here are some links and resources to help you on your path to using recycled paper in publications:

  1. Paper Steps – created by the Environmental Paper Network (EPN), this shows the basic environmental characteristics of paper and what would be a “Superior” paper versus a “Damaging” paper.
  2. EcoPaper Database – developed by Canopy this web-based database is harmonized with the Paper Steps so that you can find the best environmental papers on the market.
  3. Green in All Grades white paper – answers the question: “what paper grade is the best to use recycled fiber content?” The answer: all of them.
  4. National Geographic LCA – And, this life-cycle assessment, and the executive summary, done for National Geographic by an independent 3rd party consultant (ENVIRON Corp.) uses agreed upon ISO standards to determine if using recycled paper in printing and writing grades for National Geographic is better for the environment than using 100% virgin fiber paper. The results were unequivocal: in 14 of the 14 environmental impact categories studied, de-inked fiber production has a lower environmental impact than virgin fiber production.

All the best in your varied efforts.

P.S. – Remember, just because those of us in the environmental community recommend using recycled paper to reduce negative environmental impacts associated with paper/pulp production and use, that doesn’t mean we are against using paper. We advocate for finding the better paper options for your needs. Everyone knows that not all paper is created with the exact same environmental impacts.

Saving paper

Canada needs to act now with the rest of the world to reduce the threat of global climate change. Learn about how to save paper in your home and office

About Fibres

Issues of fibre supply are overshadowed by the ecological implications of clear-cutting of ancient forests, compounded by the assorted sources of wood fibre, form natural forests to tree plantations.

Paper FAQs

Frequently asked questions about paper and recycling, and commonly used paper acronyms

Paper Markets

Learn about the office paper industry in Canada within context of the global industry and see recommendations for further market growth and identifying obstacles

The Common Vision

In 2002 the Environmental Paper Network, a coalition of American and Canadian environmental organizations, produced the Common Vision for Transforming the Paper Industry.