Saving Costs & Forests
Paper Recycling Facts & Paper Recycling Statistics
What Is Paper Recycling?
The paper recycling segment of the recycling industry collects, sorts, and processes the recovered fiber into a specification grade product. That product is sold and transported to paper mills worldwide for reprocessing and production into new packaging, office paper, tissue, newsprint, and a multitude of other paper products.
While all countries must strive to improve their procedures, there are some encouraging paper recycling facts: Forty-five percent (45%) of the world’s total paper production is produced using recovered paper and board, also known as recovered fiber or paper. In the U.S., roughly 80% of America’s paper mills rely on paper recycling to make some or all of their products. One hundred and forty mills use only recovered paper to manufacture new products.
Vital Paper Recycling Statistics
The United States recovered 51.8 million tons of paper in 2008. Of this total, 57.4% of the paper was consumed in the U.S. (enough paper to fill more than 100 Empire State Buildings). 20.1million tons of recovered paper was exported in 2008, including 2.8 million tons of printed news, 6.3 million tons of corrugated cardboard, 7.2 million tons of mixed paper, 600,000 tons of hi-grade paper, 1.3 million tons of pulp subs, and 1.7 million tons of other forms of recovered paper.
Due to modern paper recycling procedures, more than 70% of the corrugated containers and newspapers consumed are recovered. Each percentage point of recovery represents roughly 1 million tons of fiber – enough fiber to fill 14,000 railroad cars.
Paper recycling presents significant environmental and energy benefits. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 79 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, 4000 KWH of electricity (enough to power the average U.S. home for five months), and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. Using recycled materials vs. virgin requires on 60% of the energy. Paper recycling prevents more than 115 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.