Immediate as well as senseless disposal of paper is often a problem among individuals, households and organizations as the first clutters space, and the latter cause much environmental degradation.
According to Red Orbit, by recycling paper:
- Disposal problems are reduced.
- Production of recycled paper involves between 28 - 70% less energy consumption.
- Uses less water. Most of the energy used in papermaking is the pulping done to turn wood into paper.
- Fewer pollution to air and water by lessening use of bleach. Oxygen is more often used than chlorine and this reduces the amount of dioxins (by-product of the chlorine bleaching processes) to the environment.
- Paper as a biodegradable material rots when thrown in landfill. It produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas which is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
- Recycling 1 tonne of paper saves about 30000 liters of water, about 3000 4000 kWh electricity.
Wikipedia lists down the following statistics on paper consumption:
- average per capita paper use in the USA in 2001 was 700 pounds (320 kg) while the average per capita paper use worldwide was 110 pounds (50 kg).
- About 95% of business information is still stored on paper.
- Recycling 1 short ton (0.91 t) of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7 thousand US gallons (26 m3) of water, 3 cubic yards (2.3 m3) of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil (84 US gal or 320 l), and 4,100 kilowatt-hours (15 GJ) of electricity.
- 41% of all paper is used in packaging.
- 115 billion sheets of paper are used annually for personal computers. The average daily web user prints 28 pages daily
- Corrugated fiberboard boxes have over 25% recycled fibers but some are 100% recycled fiber.