Printing Paper - Myths And Facts

In Australia, paper comes from managed regrowth forests or planted forests where the cycle of planting, growing and harvesting is carefully controlled.

Myth - Making Paper Destroys Forests

Victoria alone has over 7 million hectares of public native forest which covers around 31% of the state. 66% of this forest is reserved in parks and special protection zones. 93% of Victoria’s public native forest is currently unavailable or unsuitable for timber harvesting.

AP Sustainability Report 2017

Australia has two million hectares of working forests. That equates to over 1,000,000 MCG' sin land covered area.

CEPT Sustainability Report, 2018

Over 90% of Australia’s commercial native forest operations are independently certified to comply with the world’s best sustainable forest management practices. This is compared to the global average of 8% which shows that Australia is a leader when it comes to ensuring the sustainability of forest practices.

Australian Forest Production Association, 2017

Myth – Paper and Print is a Wasteful Product

Fact – Paper is one of the most recycled products on the world

Fact The proportion of waste paper recycled increased from 28% in 1990 to 85% in 2016, while the proportion of paper disposed of in landfill has declined since the mid-2000’s.

Australia’s State of the Forests Report, 2018

Fact Paper recycling rates in Australia are amongst the highest in the world with over 87% of all paper and paperboard being recovered.

CEPI Sustainability Report, 2018

Fact Australia’s only local newsprint producer recycled 100,000 tonnes of old newspapers and magazines each year as part of its production of newsprint

CEPI Sustainability Report, 2018

Fact Australia’s only local copy paper producer recently invested in a recycling paper production facility for office paper which diverts up to 80,000 tonnes of waste paper per annum from landfill.

CEPI Sustainability Report, 2018

Fact Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world. While the world is discussing how to transition to a circular economy the paper fibre loop can serve as a model for circularity. It prolongs value creation and creates job opportunities from a renewable resource.

European Paper Recycling Council 2018

Myth – Planted Forests are bad for the Environment

Fact – Well-managed production forests reduce the pressure on primary forests and can provide many other environmental benefits.

Forests are essential for the transition to the green economy. Well managed production forests are a vital element in the global forestry mix.

Initiatives such as forest certification and voluntary guidelines can help maintain ecosystems and biodiversity, protect high conservation values and aid economic development.

Fact Responsible forest management, motivated by a commercial interest in maintaining wood supply, can help protect vulnerable forests from illegal logging, encroachment or conversion to farmland. Forest management that is environmentally sound, socially just and economically viable can help meet society’s needs without depleting natural capital.

WWF, Forest Solutions Platform, 2018

Fact Planted Managed Forests:

  • Can be more productive and can grow faster than primary forests
  • Can provide new recreational facilities
  • Can prevent soil degradation and erosion
  • Provide new habitat, shade and shelter for wildlife
  • Contribute to rural development

Fact Located in the right places, managed in the right fashion, plantations can make a positive contribution on many levels and in many ways. By meeting a large proportion of the growing global demand for wood fibre, they take pressure off primary forests.

New Generation Plantations, Plantations for People, Planet and Prosperity, 2017

Fact 90% of forests owned or managed by the European pulp and paper industry are forest management certified. 83% of pulp purchased by the European pulp and paper industry is certified. 71% of wood, woodchips or residues from saw mills comes from forests that are certified.

CEPI Sustainability Report, 2018

Myth - Paper is bad for the Environment

Fact – Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products

Fact Forests help to mitigate climate change. Over a single year, a mature tree will take up approximately 22kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, and in exchange release oxygen. Each year, 1.3 million trees are estimated to remove more than 2500 tonnes of pollutants from the air

EAA, European Forest Ecosystems – State and Trends, 2016

Fact Catalogues, brochure, magazine and newsprint production results in 20% less direct CO2 emissions, thanks to a major investment at Australia’s largest catalogue and magazine paper production plant in Tasmania.

Australian Forest Production Association, 2017 Fact
  • Paper is made from wood, a truly renewable and sustainable resource
  • Forest certification ensures wood comes from well managed forests
  • Responsible, wood, pulp and paper production ensures healthy growing forests
  • Between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by an area the size of Switzerland
  • 71% of wood and 84% of pulp purchased by the European pulp and paper industry is FSC or PEFC certified
CEPI Sustainability Report, 2018

Myth - Paper Is Energy Intensive and Has A High Carbon Footprint

Fact - Paper Has One of The Lowest Carbon Footprints

Fact Wood is the world’s most renewable raw material. For this reason, forests and the wood they provide are vital in the fight against climate change. As the effects of global warming impact on our environment, the use of renewable and sustainable building materials has never been so important. Wood, however, has absorbed a net 1.7 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, over and above the energy expended in growing, harvesting and processing.

Fact The paper, paper products and printing sector is one of the lowest industrial greenhouse gas emitters. Manufacturing industries account for 24% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Non-metallic mineral products 5.6%
  • Basic metals 4.8%
  • Chemicals and chemical products 4.3%
  • Coke and refined petroleum 4.0%
  • Food, beverages and tobacco 1.7%
  • Paper and paper products 0.9%
  • Printing and recorded media 0.1%
  • Other manufacturing 2.3%
Based on Eurostat data, 2016

Fact The environmental impact of our personal paper consumption may not be as high as you think either. In Europe, each person uses an average of 125kg of paper every year. This amount of paper produces 84kg of CO2 which is equal to driving about 500 miles in the average European car. By buying the paper from sustainably managed forests and always recycling, we really do not have to feel guilty about using this natural and renewable product. The direct CO2 emissions of the European pulp and paper industry reduced by 25% between 2005 and 2017

CEPI, Key Statistics, 2017