Even as we rely more on all things digital, paper is still an essential part of doing business. For a long time, there was a stigma around paper. The idea was that paper use is bad for the environment… But today, we know the truth: Paper is a highly recyclable and sustainable resource!
Because it’s hard to imagine a future without paper use, it’s imperative we protect our future through sustainable paper use.
Here are 5 fast facts about paper production you may not know:
1. Today, 56% of the fiber used in paper comes from recycled materials.
2. Paper is a reusable resource and its source, wood, is a renewable resource.
3. Paper as an industry necessitates the growth and protection of forests.
4. Paper production is more regulated than other industries using wood as a resource.
5. Forests are still the largest source of biodiversity on Earth, compared to other land features.
In terms of waste and recycling, the printing industry has come a long way in recent years. More than ever before, printers are using increasingly more sustainable products, including recycled paper. It’s a proactive step in protecting not only our forests, but also the 86 million jobs related to the industry worldwide.
Do you know how paper is made? When trees are cut down, the wood is primary processed as lumber. While some trees are cut down to make paper, a lot of paper is actually produced from residual wood pulp, a byproduct of the lumber industry. The cellulose fibers found in the pulp are mixed with water and placed into a machine that flattens, dries, and cuts the paper into sheets. In fact, only 36% of paper comes directly from harvested timber. The majority is obtained from lumber mill residues and wood chopped from defective or slow-growing trees.
Using byproduct pulp to create paper is one way to reduce waste… But the most critical path to sustainable paper use is recycling. In the U.S., paper accounts for 12,500 tons of waste produced annually. But the paper industry itself is leading the way in making efforts to reduce waste to create a brighter future.
Much of the paper we use today is FSC-certified. Paper is indicated as FSC with a variety of labels that can teach us about how we’re helping forests and the people who rely on them. Because FSC products are available for commercial and personal use, we can all use the labels to help us make a difference when we buy:
- Paper with an FSC label comes from FSC-certified forests where deforestation is net zero.
- Paper with an FSC Recycled label comes from 100% recycled materials.
- FSC Mix which comes from a mix of both FSC-certified forests and recycled materials.
The Forest Stewardship Council is the entity behind the FSC-Certified label. This conservation-minded organization is committed to zero deforestation—that means irreplaceable forests are maintained while renewable forests are harvested responsibly with no net loss over time. The FSC is also committed to fair labor and protecting the rights of local populations, including indigenous people groups, to ensure the industry is ethical and mutually-beneficial. These are the guiding principles for the FSC and they’re values shared by printing companies like ours. We all want a sustainable future for forests, paper, and people!
As a printing company, we not only source recycled materials, we also recycle ourselves. Here is what we were able to accomplish just last year:
- ThinkPatented recycled 906.36 tons of paper
- We saved 15,408 trees
- We conserved 3,716,076 kilowatts of energy
- We also conserved 6,344,520 gallons of water
- We prevented 2,991 cubic yards of landfill space
- And we also prevented 30,212 pounds of air pollution
These numbers are a reflection of our deep commitment to sustainability, which we believe is prevalent across the printing and paper production industries… But making a difference is a shared responsibility, and this month, we have an opportunity for you to get involved! This year, Think Patented is holding a recycling event that is open to our employees and the public!
On Friday, April 14th, from 10 AM to 2 PM, we’re partnering with Montgomery County and Charitable Recycling of Ohio to host a convenient, drive-thru recycling event.
Community members are invited to bring any of the following:
- Paper and cardboard (flattened)
- Magazines and telephone directories
- Envelopes (no need to remove windows)
- Junk mail (any plastic wrapping removed)
- Shredded paper
- Cereal boxes
- Ready-made meal cardboard outers
- Greetings cards and non-foil wrapping paper
- Electronics, all forms working or not (radios, speakers, TVs, VCRs, copy machines, typewriters, projectors, etc.)
- (car, laptop, APC, and marine batteries)
- Appliances, all forms working or not (refrigerators, stoves, freezers, AC units, toasters, microwaves, washers, dryers, lawn mowers, etc.)
- Empty or full, ink and toner cartridges
For more information contact: Diana Renner at 937-353-2412