* Waste Disposal Hierarchy * Reduce * Reuse * Recycle * Barter * Dematerialization * Downcycling * Dumpster diving * Ecodesign * Ethical consumerism * Freeganism * Extended producer responsibility * Industrial ecology * Industrial metabolism * Material flow analysis * Product stewardship * Simple living * Upcycling * Zero waste| Recyclable materials * Plastic * Aluminium * Glass * Motor oil * Paper * Textiles * Timber * Scrap * Paint| Rationale for recycling
Industrialized paper making has an effect on the environment both upstream (where raw materials are acquired and processed) and downstream (waste-disposal impacts).Recycling paper reduces this impact. Today, 90% of paper pulp is made of wood. Paper production accounts for about 35% of felled trees, and represents 1.2% of the world's total economic output.Recycling one ton of newsprint saves about 1 ton of wood while recycling 1 ton of printing or copier paper saves slightly more than 2 tons of wood. This is because kraft pulping requires twice as much wood since it removes lignin to produce higher quality fibres than mechanical pulping processes. Relating tons of paper recycled to the number of trees not cut is meaningless, since tree size varies tremendously and is the major factor in how much paper can be made from how many trees. Trees raised specifically for pulp production account for 16% of world pulp production, old growth forests 9% and second- and third- and more generation forests account for the balance. Most pulp mill operators practice reforestation to ensure a continuing supply of trees. The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification(PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certify paper made from trees harvested according to guidelines meant to ensure good forestry practices. It has been estimated that recycling half the world’s paper would avoid the harvesting of 20 million acres (81,000 km²) of forestland. Energy
Energy consumption is reduced by recycling, although there is debate concerning the actual energy savings realized. The Energy Information Administration claims a 40% reduction in energy when paper is recycled versus paper made with unrecycled pulp, while the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) claims a 64% reduction. Some calculations show that recycling one ton of newspaper saves about 4,000 kW·h (14 GJ) of electricity, although this may be too high (see comments below on unrecycled pulp). This is enough electricity to power a 3-bedroom European house for an entire year, or enough energy to heat and air-condition the average North American home for almost six months. Recycling paper to make pulp may actually consume more fossil fuels than making new pulp via the kraft process, however, since these mills generate all of their energy from burning waste wood (bark, roots) and byproduct lignin. Pulp mills producing new mechanical pulp use large amounts of energy; a very rough estimate of the...