Magazine article Geographical

Making Paper Cuts to Save Trees

Magazine article Geographical

Making Paper Cuts to Save Trees

Article excerpt

Global consumption of wood fibre for making paper could be cut by over half, according to a new study by the Worldwatch Institute. This reduction could be achieved by trimming paper consumption in industrial countries, improving paper-making efficiency, and expanding the use of recycled and non-wood materials. "We have the tools at hand to dramatically lessen the impact of paper on the world's forests, as well as to reduce energy use, air and water pollution, and solid waste," said authors Janet Abramovitz and Ashley Mattoon in Paper Cuts: Recovering the Paper Landscape.

Global paper use has grown more than six-fold since 1950. One-fifth of all wood harvested in the world ends up in paper. Pulp and paper is the fifth largest industrial consumer of energy in the world, using as much power to produce a tonne of product as the iron and steel industry. In some countries, such as the USA, paper accounts for nearly 40 per cent of all municipal solid waste. …

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