sábado, 16 de maio de 2009

Is recycled paper better for the environment then virgin fiber paper? Not necessarily.

According to a survey of professional media buyers, 70% of respondents perceived recycled paper to be better for the environment than virgin paper. It isn’t as straightforward as you might think. While recycled paper does reduce waste paper going to landfill, you must also consider paper’s full life cycle and not just the fibre source. Modern paper mills producing virgin fibre paper, whose energy source is nuclear, hydro or internally bio-fuelled, may well have a lower carbon footprint than a mill making recycled paper, powered by fossil fuels. And it’s important to remember that virgin fibre is always required to make recycled paper possible in the first place. For these reasons, it is very difficult to directly compare the environmental impact of recycled and virgin fibre paper.
The paper industry has eight representatives in the UN’s list of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies, more than any other industry.
Both virgin and recycled paper products can therefore have an equally strong environmental argument.
Forests are part of the cycle that helps remove CO2 from the atmosphere. This extends from trees to wood and paper products, which continue to store the carbon and help to reduce climate change.
The fact that paper products are recyclable and renewable means that their lifecycle can be extended, prolonging this benefit and reducing waste into the bargain.

Summary

The paper industry is one of the biggest users of renewable, low carbon energy

Half the energy used to make paper in Europe comes from renewable sources

Very often, the water used to make paper is cleaner when it comes out of the mill than when it goes in

Growing forests absorb carbon dioxide helping to counter the Greenhouse Effect

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