Paper is one of the most important and widely used consumer materials with an endless ability to be transformed. If it is writing paper, paper used for printing, magazines, newspapers, cardboard or packaging paper all of them are made out of a valuable resource and should be recycled for reuse.
Despite the rapid development of electronic communication systems, demand for paper products is still growing. In 2007-2008, Australians consumed 4,250,000 tonnes of paper. This consumption costs millions of trees - one great reason to recycle.
Modern paper production involves mechanical, chemical - or a combination of both - pulping to convert raw materials into various paper products. These processes consume large amounts of energy and use valuable natural resources, including trees and water.
Trees are the main resource in the paper production, a tonne of paper consumes approximately 20 full-grown trees while recycling 1 tonne of paper saves 13 trees.
To make just one tonne of paper out of virgin material over 90,000 litres of precious water are used which will fill 450 rain barrels.
Greenhouse gas emissions
When paper goes to landfill it produces dangerous greenhouse gases during decomposition. But already the production of paper emits 1,46 tonnes of greenhouse gases per tonne of paper produced.
Australians send 1.9 million tonnes of paper to landfill each year and most of it can be recycled. Newspaper is the most abundant paper waste, followed by cardboard and magazine/advertising material. All this waste fills up our landfill space, space we are fast running out of.