March 22, 2017

Paper Products Aid Deforestation

Deforestation and the Role of Paper Products
by Phil Covington on Tuesday, Sep 24th, 2013 (originally published at

Great ideas are started on paper. The world is educated on paper. Businesses are founded on paper. Love is professed on paper. Important news is spread on paper. Justice is rendered on paper. Rights are guaranteed on paper. Freedoms are declared on paper.

All of this was written on the packaging of a ream of paper I just added to my printer as I started this piece, and it is hard to argue with the importance this medium has had with respect to the development of humankind.

At the same time, paper comes from tree fibers, either from the growing forests or recovered paper. Global deforestation and forest degradation are problems of a global scale, but before addressing the extent to which the insatiable use of paper and the industry behind it is responsible, here’s a little context as to the state of the world’s forests.

To start with, about a half of the forests that once covered the earth are gone. Every year, another 13 million hectares disappear (although afforestation adds another eight back), and the World Resources Institute (WRI) estimates that only about 22 percent of the world’s old growth forests remain intact.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *