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Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products

Paper is made from a natural resource that is renewable, recyclable and compostable. These features, combined with the North American paper industry’s advocacy of responsible forestry practices and certification, use of renewable, carbon-neutral biofuels and advances in efficient papermaking technology, make paper a product with inherent and unique sustainable features.

  • Paper is based on wood, a natural and renewable resource that can be planted, grown, harvested and replanted. Each year forests in the U.S and Canada grow significantly more wood than is harvested.

  • Paper has been an integral part of our cultural development and is essential for modern life. Paper helps to increase levels of literacy and democracy worldwide and plays an important role in protecting goods and foodstuffs during transit. Paper is made from renewable resources, and responsibly produced and used paper has many advantages over other, nonrenewable alternative materials.

  • Paper is recyclable and in North America, paper is recycled more than any other commodity in the municipal solid waste stream, including plastics, glass and metals. The benefits of paper recycling include: extending the supply of wood fiber; reducing greenhouse gas emissions that can contribute to climate change by avoiding methane emissions (which are released when paper decomposes in landfills or is incinerated); contributing to carbon sequestration; reducing the amount of energy needed to produce some paper products; and saving considerable landfill space.

  • Only 36% of the U.S. timber harvest is used each year in manufacturing paper and paperboard, with the rest from sawmill residues and recycled paper products.5 In Canada, only 13% of the wood fiber to make paper comes from trees. The rest comes from sawmill residues (59%) and recycled paper (28%).

Click here to read more facts about paper’s sustainability »