Consumption of paper
The environmental impact of paper is significant, which has led to changes in industry and behaviour at both business and personal levels. With the use of modern technology such as the printing press and the highly mechanised harvesting of wood, disposable paper has become a cheap commodity. This has led to a high level of consumption and waste. With the rise in environmental awareness due to the lobbying by environmental organizations and with increased government regulation there is now a trend towards sustainability in the pulp and paper industry. Issues
The production and use of paper has a number of adverse effects on the environment which are known collectively as paper pollution. Pulp mills contribute to air, water and land pollution. Discarded paper is a major component of many landfill sites, accounting for about 35 percent by weight of municipal solid waste (before recycling). Even paper recycling can be a source of pollution due to the sludge produced during de-inking. According to a Canadian citizens organization, "People need paper products and we need sustainable, environmentally safe production." The amount of paper and paper products is enormous, so the environmental impact is also very significant. It has been estimated that by 2020 paper mills will produce almost 500,000,000 tons of paper and paperboard per year, so great efforts are needed to ensure that the environment is protected during the production, use and recycling/disposal of this enormous volume of material. Pulp and paper is the third largest industrial polluter to air, water, and land in both Canada and the United States, and releases well over 100 million kg of toxic pollution each year. Worldwide, the pulp and paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy, accounting for four percent of all the world's energy use. The pulp and paper industry uses more water to produce a ton of product than any other industry. Deforestation...
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