Why paper is more sustainable than you think

It’s a common myth that paper is bad for the environment and is the main cause for forests being cut down. The fact is that this couldn’t be further from the truth and the paper industry has a number of respected certification schemes ensuring the paper you use has come from a sustainable forest source.

Forests play an important role in mitigating climate change by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Europe’s forests store almost 80 billion tonnes of carbon in their biomass. The stock of carbon in forest biomass has increased by around 3 billion tonnes since 1990. Forests play a vital role in the fight against climate change and absorb around 7% of the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the region.

Trees Switzerland

The same could be said about paper-based packaging which has reputation for being wasteful and damaging to the environment. Paper-based packaging actually has an excellent environmental record. On average, UK manufactured corrugated boxes contain 76% recycled fibre.

Once used, paper-based packaging is easy to recycle. In the UK and Europe, the collection of packaging is hugely successful with over 80% collected for recycling2. This superb recycling rate prevents an area of board the size of Greater London from going to landfill every four months.

Consumers prefer paperboard packaging. According to a recent survey, 57% of UK consumers prefer paper-based packaging3

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1FAO, 2015. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015, How are the World’s Forests Changing?

2Confederation of Paper Industries, Review 2014-2015

3Confederation of Paper Industries/ YouGov, 2014