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» What is the impact of paper production on our environment ?

What is the impact of paper production on our environment ?


The average French person consumes 130 to 150 kg of paper per year. This can be a frightening figure when you consider all the negative effects of paper production. Indeed, paper is one of the biggest sources of environmental degradation. 


Every year, 4 billion trees are felled for the paper industry. This deforestation is critical for both flora and fauna. Take South-East Asia, for example, where over a fifth of plant and animal species could disappear over the next century.


What's more, water is essential for the creation of paper, and more specifically for the pulp processing stage. Did you know that producing a sheet of A4 paper consumes an average of 5 to 10 liters of water? 


Last but not least, papermaking also requires significant energy consumption. During the paper production process, electricity for machines, heating, drying and bleaching paper consume energy. It takes an average of 17 Watts/hour for a sheet of paper to be created.


Faced with the many negative effects of paper production, recycled paper has emerged as a more environmentally-friendly alternative. However, it's important to note that paper recycling is not exempt from negative effects on our environment.


First of all, paper recycling can cause contamination of future recycled paper. Between 5% and 25% of recyclable paper contains substances such as glue and ink. These can reduce the usability of recycled paper, and may even require additional treatment to remove the contaminants. 
In addition, the use of chemicals is always present in the recycled paper manufacturing process, notably for the paper treatment and bleaching stages. 


Finally, energy consumption is lower than for conventional paper. In fact, for one sheet of recycled paper, we can reduce the energy used by 2.5 watt/hour. However, energy is still needed to collect, sort, transport and process recyclable materials.


In other words, recycled paper is still harmful to the environment because, although it reduces certain negative effects on our planet, it continues to perpetuate them. 


In conclusion, it would be preferable not to consume paper in order to preserve our environment. However, we are sometimes forced to do so, so we might as well adopt a responsible and sustainable approach to consumption 🌍


Let's choose papers that respect our environment even more, like those made from elephant dung ! 🐘

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