Paper & Recycling Facts

Paper and paperboard constituted the largest portion of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream in 1994, representing 38.9% of the total waste by weight.

-Environmental Health and Safety Online

Recycling paper uses 60% less energy than manufacturing virgin timber paper.

-"1996 Statistics, Data Through 1995" American Forest and Paper Association. November 1996. Pg. 2

North Americans consume 323 kg per capita of paper products, Europe consumed 125 kg, Asia consumed 28 kg, Latin America consumed 36 kg, Australia consumed 322 kg, and Africa consumed 6 kg. The world’s per capita consumption was 53.8 kg in 2000.

-The Bureau of International Recycling, World Consumption 2000

“If offices throughout the US increased the rate of two-sided photocopying from the 1991 figure of 20% to 60%, they could save the equivalent of about 15 million trees.”

Choose to Reuse by Nikki & David Goldbeck, 1995, Earth 911 2004

The average American attorney uses one ton of paper every year.

-Waste Reduction is a Smart Business Decision, Onondaga Resource Recovery Agency, 1998

Recycling one ton of paper saves 682.5 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

-Waste Reduction is a Smart Business Decision, Onondaga Resource Recovery Agency, 1998

The US uses approx. 68 million trees each year to produce 17 billion catalogs and 65 billion pieces of direct mail.

-American Forest and Paper Association

115 billion sheets of paper are used annually for personal computers.

-Worldwatch Institute

The average American uses more than 748 pounds of paper per year.

-American Forest and Paper Association

3 cubic yards of landfill space can be saved by one ton of recycled paper.

-50 Simple things you Can do to Save the Earth, Jodi B., Sudbury

77 percent of paper is recycled in the Netherlands.

-Washington Post

67 percent of paper is recycled in Germany.

-Worldwatch Institute

52 percent of paper is recycled in Japan.

-Worldwatch Institute

45 percent of paper is recycled in the U.S.

-Worldwatch Institute

Recycled paper requires 64% less energy than making paper from virgin wood pulp.

-Energy Educators of Ontario, 1993

Every ton of recycled paper saves about 17 trees.

-Purdue Research Foundation and US Environmental Protection Agency, 1996

The average American uses 18 cubic feet of wood and 749 pounds of paper – equal to a 100-foot tree with an 18-inch trunk – each year.

- American Forest & Paper Association, 2004

Nearly 81.3 million tons of paper and paperboard waste was generated in the U.S. in 1994.

-Environmental Health and Safety Online

Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year – enough to build a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to California.

-American Forest & Paper Association, 2004

It takes 75,000 trees to print a Sunday Edition of the New York Times.

-North Carolina Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling

Recovered paper is used to make a variety of products, including copier paper, paper towels and napkins, corrugated boxes, and hydraulic mulch.

-Environmental Health and Safety Online

Recycling one ton of paper saves 682.5 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

-Waste Reduction is a Smart Business Decision, Onondaga Resource Recovery Agency, 1998