As industries go, paper making is a huge scale undertaking and you’d expect it to generate some frightening statistics. It doesn’t. On average it takes 400 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity to produce 160kg of paper, the average amount of paper that each of us consume every year. That is the equivalent of powering one computer continually for four months.
Producing 160kg of paper, the average we each use every year, creates between 130 - 250kg of CO2 depending on the source of energy. This is comparable to many other small scale domestic activities, and is roughly equivalent to the CO2 produced by an average family car over a distance of 800 kilometres (Paper and the environment, ATS Consulting, August 2007).
Australians Forestry plantations have doubled in size from about one million hectares in 1994 to two million hectares in 2010 (The Changing Face of Australia’s Forests - Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry).
For every tree logged in managed forests, 3-4 are replanted (natural wastage and thinning being part of the forestry process).
The paper making plant in Maryvale in Victoria generates sufficient green energy to power the equivalent of 50,000 homes.
95% of Australian households recycle/reuse their paper products. Paper is recycled more than any other household item (ABS Waste Management and Transport Use, 2009).
Almost 30% of all recoverable material is comprised of paper (Waste and Recycling in Australia Amended Report Hyder Consulting, 2009).
The amount of electronic products discarded globally has sky rocketed recently with 20-50 million tonnes generated every year (Greenpeace, The e-waste Problem, 2009).