PRINT PROMOTES FORESTS

January 20th, 2015

PrintPromotesImage

When you use paper, you give tree farmers a reason to plant more trees, maintain their forests and avoid selling their land for development.

There are many misconceptions about the environmental impact of print on paper. Since printers and their suppliers use natural resources—trees—as a substrate for their products, many people think that by forgoing printing, they are saving trees and making the right choice for the environment. However, the exact opposite is true.

Print Values Trees
Much paper now comes from sustainable forests. These sustainable forests are essentially “tree farms,” where trees are grown as a crop, just like broccoli or wheat. When these trees are harvested, new stocks are planted. Print gives landowners a financial incentive to renew forests rather than convert them for other uses, such as agriculture or development.[1]

Print Uses “Waste”
Overall, one-third of the fiber used to make paper comes from wood chips and sawmill scraps; another third comes from recycled paper.[2]In the United States, 76% of paper and paperboard mills use at least some recovered material in their manufacturing process in 2011, while 113 paper mills used recovered fiber exclusively.[3]

Print is Recycled
But that is not the complete story. Print on paper is recycled and reused. In 2011, nearly 66% of paper used in the United States was recycled, and this number increases each year with more deliberate curbside and drop-off collection systems.[4] Recycled paper is used to make everything from construction products to consumer goods.

Print is Responsible
Just 11% of the world’s forests are used for paper, and in the U.S. the wood used to produce paper increasingly comes from certified forests.[5]The Forest Steward Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) track fiber content from certified lands through production and manufacturing to the end product.

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[1] Edward L. Glaeser, Professor of Economics, Harvard University, “A Road Map for Environmentalism,” Boston Globe.
[2]U.S. EPA, Office of Solid Waste, 2014.
[3]American Forest and Paper Association, “Fun Facts,” 2014.
[4]U.S. EPA, Office of Solid Waste, 2014.
[5]5]International Paper, Down to Earth, “Is it Worth Printing?”

http://www.twosidesna.org

http://chooseprint.org/PPF.html

One Response

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post. It easily explains the benefit of print and since I’m a graphic artist hear many differing ideas.

    Camille H.