Despite the electronic revolution, the widespread use of digital storage media and virtual communication, the demand for paper has not diminished compared to previous years.
If it became less used in paperwork, then there was a significantly more paper packaging products. Experts predict that in ten years the demand for paper will double.
Paper waste is 40% of the waste generated by human activity. For one average citizen, there are about 200 kilograms of waste paper annually. Basically, they are disposed of in landfills.
The amount of paper that arrives at landfills every year is 40 million tons. Moreover, most of it is quite suitable for use as a secondary raw material. However, it rots for many months, and, accordingly, pollutes the environment, because methane is released during the decomposition. The toxicity of this gas is 25 times higher than CO2.
Paper waste recycling is at an early stage of development. Nevertheless, this problem has been taken under state control. Organization of secondary processing of raw materials (including paper) is one of the priority directions in state policy. Experts estimate that 35% of all waste accumulating in landfills is paper. Its processing allows you to get a number of benefits, primarily for the environment.
The problem of deforestation is relevant for all countries
The lack of oxygen has become tangible. Inhabitants of some megacities already complain about oxygen starvation – the human body does not receive the required amount of useful gas. This can lead to asthma and other serious illnesses. In addition, large-scale deforestation entails climate change, declining plant diversity and other negative consequences. More than a third of all trees cut down are used in papermaking. And only 16% of them are grown for industrial purposes.
Pros of recycling paper waste
Recycling of waste paper allows you to solve the problem of waste disposal, which in itself will have a positive impact on the environment. The use of recycled materials makes it possible to significantly reduce the felling of trees.
Making paper from recycled paper is less energy-intensive compared to primary production. According to experts, with a competent organization of the processing industry, it is possible to reduce the amount of electricity consumed by 40–65%.
Recycling of one ton of waste paper is:
maturation of 1-2 tons of natural wood (depending on the type and quality of paper). Thus, at least 17 plants can be kept alive. And one tree annually produces the amount of oxygen needed by four people for the same period; saving more than 680 tons of oil; saving more than ten thousand liters of water.
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Ways to reduce waste paper
Conscious actions of every citizen will help to reduce the negative impact of paper and its production on the environment. Here are some simple ways to be environmentally friendly. competently dispose of paper waste – use a separate waste collection system, hand over waste paper to special collection points.
Persuade relatives, friends, acquaintances, colleagues to follow your example Use paper only if there is a real need for it; to use electronic media for communication with clients; minimize the use of disposable paper dishes. If possible, even in the office and outdoors, use reusable plates and glasses; use paper products made with minimal use of chlorine and other toxic chemicals.
Each consumer can perform these actions. And they will become a valuable contribution to solving the problem of protecting our planet from pollution, and, accordingly, preventing an environmental catastrophe.