Uncovering the Truth: What You Should Know About the Paper Industry

Using paper is bad for the environment. The more paper we use, the more trees are cut down. We don’t have many trees or forest areas left. ALL commonly held beliefs, yet all are misconceptions!

There are plenty of myths surrounding the paper industry and its impact on the environment. Here, we’ll provide you with the inside perspective on how modern techniques minimize environmental impact and actually promote a “green” paper industry.

Does Manufacturing Paper Destroy Forests?

In general, many people believe, that in order to produce paper, forests must be destroyed. However, while paper does require cellulose fiber and pulp found in trees, modern-day paper companies do not operate in the same manner as the loggers of long ago. 

With trees remaining the most common source of cellulose for paper products, companies must rely on forest land for the success of their business. In order for paper businesses to survive, there must be sustainability of harvested areas. These days, paper manufacturers harvest within “managed forest” land. This means that for every tree that is cut down, several more are planted in the original’s place. In fact, paper manufacturers plant 36 percent more trees than they harvest, each year. 

Is the Paper Industry Bad For the Environment?

Paper manufacturers view forests and trees as renewable resources. By operating out of managed forest areas, the environment remains stable, with an annual increase in the total number of trees grown. 

The paper industry’s sustainable growth model actually encourages larger, healthier forests. Replanting policies are strictly enforced by a number of organizations focused on ensuring environmental friendliness standards are adhered to. The Forest Stewardship Council is an international nonprofit dedicated to sustainability of forest products. Within North America, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative is a certification organization responsible for enforcing managed forest standards. 

What’s the Environmental Outlook?

Hopefully you now see that while the paper industry often gets a bad reputation for being destructive, that’s not necessarily the case. We all want a “green” future and paper manufacturers are no different! Interestingly, during the past century, there has been no substantial decrease in the overall forested land, which remains approximately 750 million acres in the United States. The conservation efforts of the paper industry toward renewability and sustainability have resulted in a positive impact to our environment. 

So, next time you retrieve a printed document from the copier, consider the eco-friendly influence of additionally planted trees, that single piece of paper has had on our environment. Atlanta Office Technologies, shares in the vision of ecological sustainability, with a commitment to doing our part to improve planet earth. Discover more about AOT’s mission by visiting us at youraot.com