domingo, 17 de maio de 2009

Making paper destroys forests?

Another prejudice is that paper destroys forests. In fact the main raw material of paper is cellulose fibre which generally comes from trees, but this doesn’t automatically equate to the destruction of forests. Papermaking and other industries that depend on trees need thriving forests. It’s in their interest. "Almost half of the timber harvested from the world’s forests is used to make paper products, so the paper industry has a huge opportunity to make sure that those forests are responsibly managed and will be here for generations to come" (1) .
It is estimated that there are 25% more trees in the developed world today than there were in 1901, and in Europe alone, forests are increasing annually.
Deforestation is generally occurring in the tropics but for a variety of reasons. The main cause of deforestation is either for agriculture or for domestic fuel requirements, which between them, account for almost half of the trees cut down worldwide. There have been, and continue to be in some tropical countries, issues over land rights and natural forest conversion to industrial plantations which are cause for concern to the paper industry, NGO´s and consumers alike.
In northern Europe, where almost all ancient forests are protected, paper comes from managed semi-natural forests where the cycle of planting, growing and logging is carefully controlled. Even in countries where natural forests are used, like Russia and Canada, logging accounts for only a small share of the annual tree growth. "Forestry, paper and packaging are among the most sustainable industries in existence" (2).
One of the many unique things about paper is that its main raw material, is renewable. Combined with the sustainable way that European forests are managed, this means that 33% more new trees grow in Europe each year than are felled.


References

(1) FSC

(2) CEO Perspectives 2008, Price Waterhouse Coopers

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