Paper

View numbered sources in PDF format  |  Back to trivia by subject

Each year, the United States uses 85.5 million tons of paper, of which
we recycle 22%, or 19 million tons. Of the remaining paper, we could
recycle up to 70% or 46 million tons. And those 46 million tons could
save 782 million trees. (39, 63)

An average family of 3 produces about 5 lbs. /week, 20lbs. /mo., or 250
lbs./yr. of used newspaper. (39, 63)

Every day, Americans buy about 62 million newspapers and throw out
around 44 million of them. If we recycled just half our newsprint every
year, we would need 3,200 fewer garbage trucks to collect our trash.
(21)

If you're an average American, it's going to take 465 trees to provide
you with a lifetime of paper. (60)

Americans throw away the equivalent of more than 30 million trees in
newsprint each year. (21)

Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year. That's
enough to build a 12 foot-high wall of paper from New York to
California. (21)

In 1988, Americans used enough Kraft paper for a person to take a brown
bag lunch to school or work for 64 million years. (21)

If Americans recycled every phone book each year, an estimated 650,000
tons of paper could be saved. (21)

Recycling half the world's paper would free 20 million acres of
forestland. (21)

Recycling one stack of newspapers about 6 feet tall saves the life of
one tree 35 feel tall. Recycling approximately 1 ton of newspapers
saves 17 trees. (51)

If you stacked up all the paper an average American use in a year, the
pile would be as tall as a two-story house. (29)

Americans use about 30 billion cardboard boxes a year. That's enough to
make a pile as big as a football field and as high as the World Trade
Center in New York. If every person in America recycled just 1 box a
month, more than a billion boxes a year could be kept out of landfills.
(41)

The EPA has found that making paper from recycled materials results in
74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution. This means that
every ton of recycled paper keeps almost 60 pounds of pollutants out of
the atmosphere that would have been produced if the paper had been
manufactured from virgin resources. (43)

If everyone who subscribes to the New York Times recycled his or her
old newspapers, we would keep over 6,000 tons of pollution out of the
air every year. (21)

Every ton of recycled paper saves approximately 4 barrels of oil,
4200-kilowatt hours of energy and enough energy to hear and
air-condition the average North American home for at least 6 months.
(55)

In Germany, the most advanced pulp mills produce a piece of paper using
only seven times its weight in water. Around the world, older factories
use up to 100 times this amount. (36)

Nearly 30% of all paper is now reused to make insulation, building
materials, or other paper products. In all, about 13 million tons are
recovered each year-including 4 million tons that are exported to
foreign markets. (39)

Office paper has already been bleached, and compared to newsprint there
is not much ink. As a result, recycled paper manufacturers only have to
use 25% as much bleach as the original manufacturers used. This cuts
down on dioxins in our water. (21)

Paper products consume 35% of the world's annual commercial wood
harvest and this figure is expected to increase to 50% by the year
2000. (19)

Recycled paper saves water. Recycled paper production uses 58% less
water compared to virgin paper production. (19)

One ton of paper made completely from recycled scrap saves 7,000
gallons of water, 4100-kilowatt hours of energy, three cubic yards of
landfill space and 17 trees. (10)

Recycled paper is made to the same standards as paper made from virgin
pulp. Moreover, recycled paper has features that make it more desirable
than virgin paper, such as being more opaque, dense, and flexible. (19)

Paper plus cardboard combined make up 73% of the materials in the
landfill. (61)

For every 15,000 tons of old newspaper recycled annually, 30 jobs are
created to collect the paper, 40 jobs are created to process the paper,
and 75 jobs are required to manufacture the newsprint. (31)

It is estimated that recycling paper from California's "urban forest"
has helped to sustain some 9,000 jobs while adding more than $2.2
billion of value to the State economy. (10)

Making a ton of virgin paper requires 3,688 lbs. Of wood, 24,000
gallons of water, 216 lbs. of lime, 360 lbs. of salt cake and 76 lbs.
of soda ash. We then have to treat and dispose of 84 lbs. of air
pollutants, 36 lbs. of water pollutants and 176 lbs. of solid waste.
(5)