By Richard Romano on April 23rd, 2012
WhatTheyThink’s Going Green has joined forces with Two Sides to help address the “perceptions” that paper destroys forests, that electronic media are “greener” than print and paper, and that recycling is the solution to all environmental ills.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (via the Paper Industry Association Council), in 2009, paper and paperboard accounted for 73.3% of all the packaging materials recovered for recycling in the U.S.
Why should you care?
That works out to 25.07 of the 34.22 million tons of recovered packaging materials which also includes glass, metal, and plastic. This is well above the 63.5% of paper in general that was recovered for recycling. While recovery and recycling of paper is a good thing, we should bear in mind that there is a limit–dependent upon paper grade–to the number of times any given paper fibers can be recycled before they break down. So as noble as recycling is, we should note that recycling will never completely negate the need for virgin fiber. Naturally, we should ensure that virgin fiber comes from sustainably managed forests–just as we should ensure that any forestry products (i.e., wood, etc.) come from sustainably managed forests.
For more Two Sides facts see www.twosides.us/mythsandfacts.