Is Recycled Paper Environmentally Friendly?

Insights Is Recycled Paper Environmentally Friendly?

When printing the training manual is might seem a silly question. Recycled paper is environmentally friendly – right?

Well, the paper industry is constantly debating this issue because the arguments are less than straightforward. Firstly, recycling paper has some issues of its own in the amount of energy and chemical bleaching agents required to create recycled pulp. Whilst using recycled pulp in box board and newsprint is fine – using recycled pulp for white copier paper not so great. Clearly we should continue recycling the paper it’s just the use we put that recycled pulp to.

Recycled paper will always contain an element of virgin pulp as well. This is because paper can only be recycled around 5-8 times because the process shortens the fibre length which is why recycled is always so coarse.

But using virgin pulp destroys forests! NOT TRUE - paper pulp comes from European soft wood forests which in most cases (and certainly anything PDI uses) come from PEFC/FSC managed forests. These forests are planted, tended and farmed like any other crop. These young forests are very efficient at absorbing CO2 compared to old trees, which as they age, start to decompose and release carbon back into the atmosphere.

The managed and sustainable forests used for the European paper industry are growing at a remarkable rate according to the organisation ‘Two Sides’.

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