In modern days, where almost everything is possible in the virtual world, we are still using an extreme amount of paper in our daily life.
Do we ever try to calculate the cost of paper consumption?
Yes, of course, we did – paper is one of the consumables with a very low cost, around a penny per sheet of paper, but what does its environment matter? Interested, go ahead check what is the real cost behind the paper.
Only in the USA, every year more than 24 billion newspapers, 350 million magazines, and 2 billion books are published, together with high daily usage of the paper statistical citizen of USA is consuming 220kg of paper a year. To compare it to statistical citizens of Europe, who consume 130 kg of paper a year it’s almost twice more.
So it is not a surprise, that the paper industry is the fifth larger consumer of energy, accounting for 4% of all the world’s energy use. There is a piece of good news connected to this industry, we recycle a lot, and around 1/3 of all paper-made materials come from recycled paper. However, still, to produce Sunday newspapers around the world, we need to cut down 500 000 trees.
Businesses are still strongly connected with printed (paper-based) documentation, just in the USA companies are spending over 130 billion dollars per year on printed forms. Funny or not so the fact is, that most of these printed documents become outdated in just three months. Surprisingly, paper consumption in business is keep growing by an average of 22% a year and it means that paper costs double every 3.3 years.
What we can say about environmental costs?
Let’s start with basic information, producers can produce around 10 000 sheets of paper from one 6 meters pine tree with a 24 cm diameter. That leads us to the further numbers, which aren’t nice. To meet the paper demand in the UK, you need a forest of the size of the whole of Wales. There is an estimation that says that 18 million acres of forest are lost each year to paper production. Do you like to drink coffee from the cup? Rethink that idea, due to approximately 6.5 million trees which were cut down to produce 16 billion coffee cups, which generated 115 million kilos of waste and used 15 billion liters of water. Globally, around 17 billion trees are cut down each year in the World.
We believe that is enough to convince you to use less paper. You can reduce your impact by using less paper.