Busting myths about the paper industry

Hands up those of you who believe that paper production damages the environment....?

Now, what if i were to inform you that due to the smart management of Europe’s forests, the forests have increased in size, according to Food and Agriculture Statistics published in 2007.

This may not be the case in some countries where deforestation has resulted in the loss of vital forest land, due to irresponsible politicians and the need for economic growth, but certainly, when it comes to Europe and the UK, the paper industry has lowered its environmental impact significantly.

In line with this new found attitude towards the environment and paper products, it is important to first understand the origins of paper and how far it has come. Often perceived as ‘old fashioned’, the paper industry has been operating for many years. First documented in China around 25 - 220 CE it spread to other countries who created paper mills for the production of money and papermaking. Over the years the industry has evolved, barely recognisable from its early days and is now a billion pound industry. No longer the relic it was once thought, paper has transitioned into an eco-friendly, non-polluting resource sought after by the environmentally conscious for its natural biodegradability, compostability and recyclability.

Like all things in life, you need energy: to sustain life, to produce products; its an unavoidable by-product of progress. The paper industry is no exception, so it might surprise a few to know that EU paper mills take 50% of their energy from renewable resources and over the course of ten years have reduced their total energy by 34% per tonne of paper produced. Not only that but the industry has the technology to be ‘zero carbon’, with some mills taking the decision to power their own plants using their own waste. You can’t talk about energy without discussing water. Water is crucial to paper production, but in the EU paper mills return over 85% of the water used, often cleaner than when it was taken out. Plus, with advancements in technology, paper mills have reduced water consumption throughout the paper production cycle by 24% per tonne of paper made.

Some consumers can be put off using paper products because they believe they are cutting down trees. Responsibly sourced, paper will comprise of  70% fibres collected from recycling, with the remaining coming from virgin fibres grown in sustainably managed forests. So, with this knowledge  more companies have started to get onboard with paper innovation. One such innovation is HexcelWrap®, an eco-friendly substitute for bubble wrap. A purebred alternative to plastic that in every way exceeds the performance of its environmentally draining counterpart; HexcelWrap™ will save you time, space and money, so you can save the environment. If you’d like more information on our latest addition to our ‘green’ range of packaging products, visit the link below.

Alternatively, you may wish to book a no-obligation, free consultation with our team of packaging experts, to discover how we can take your business to the next level.
Contact us here.

Source: Paper Myths and Facts: a balanced view: Confederation of Paper Industries Ltd