1. To start with, around 100 B.C., the Chinese invented paper from hemp. They later began to use tree bark, bamboo, and other plant fibers to create paper.
2. We derived the English word “paper” from the Egyptian word “papyrus”.
3. 1 pine tree can produce about 80,500 sheets of paper.
4. Actually, our “paper money” isn’t really paper at all. Instead, U.S. paper currency is composed of 75% cotton and 25% linen.
5. Businesses use enough paper every day to circle the globe 20 times.
6. Paper is actually sustainable
At one point in its lifecycle, paper can be traced back to a tree, typically planted in a forest. When there is a healthy demand for paper, it doesn’t devastate forests but it encourages sustainable practices that protect and maintain forests in the long run.
7. Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world
Paper is easily recyclable and is in fact, one of the most recycled products across the globe.
Recycled paper is made from the wastepaper, meaning previously processed fibers. Unfortunately, wastepaper contains the mixture of dyes, primers, and pigments. Therefore, it needs to be properly cleaned prior to the manufacturing process, for instance bleached (otherwise the paper will be naturally greyish) or reinforced with stronger glue in case of short fibers. Environmental benefits of this kind of paper derive from the recycling component.
Paper is mainly collected from trade and industry but also recycled from household use and offices. The more paper is being retrieved and recycled, the more benefits extend across both the environment and the economy.
⚫ Provides an extended use and supply of wood fiber.
⚫ Reduces energy required to produce paper products.
⚫Reduces greenhouse gas emissions released when paper is decomposed or incinerated in landfills.
⚫ Saves landfill space.
8. The alternatives aren’t always ‘greener’
Replacing paper with Information Communication Technology (ICT) products or services is not always greener and the best trade-off. Any solution should be considered in light of its frequency, source of energy and disposal processes.
Paper still plays an irreplaceable role in education, art and society as a whole, and in reality, both electronic and physical forms of communication affect the environment. The path to environmental sustainability is not as simple as favoring one form of communication over the other, but rather, both paper and ICT industries should continue to invest in the reduction of this impact. It’s not necessarily accurate to suggest one solution is ‘greener’