Eco-friendly paper, or what kind of paper?

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Most people don’t think much about where the paper in their notebooks or calendars comes from. Unfortunately, in all its forms it has a major impact on our planet.

Paper production and the associated cutting down of trees has an obvious environmental impact. You also have to consider the amount of raw materials and energy required to grow and cut down trees for paper production, as well as the CO2 released into the atmosphere throughout the process. When you look at it from this perspective, paper no longer seems like a better choice than plastic, does it? Fortunately, technologies continue to develop, and truly eco-friendly alternatives to traditional paper are appearing on the market.

When is paper environmentally friendly?

The production and disposal of eco-paper are environmentally friendly, which cannot be said of paper produced in the traditional way. First, in this case, wood is used, which means that the planet’s forest area is gradually decreasing. Second, pulp mills and bleaching sites harm the environment by using harmful chemicals and bleach.

Green paper is most often made from recycled waste paper. The raw material is separated into fibers, cleaned and re-pressed into a new, environmentally friendly material. Its bleaching is done without the use of environmentally harmful chlorine.

There are two main types of eco-friendly paper – recycled paper and FSC-certified paper.

Advantages of recycled paper

Recycled paper is made from post-consumption waste, rather than wood pulp from freshly cut trees. As a result, its production helps reduce deforestation. More trees also mean less pollution globally, and according to studies, recycling about one ton of paper reduces greenhouse gas emissions by one ton of carbon equivalent and saves about 7,000 gallons of water.

Any paper product, from packaging to old notebooks, can be turned into recycled paper. However, it’s important to note that most varieties of it are not made from 100% post-consumer materials, which means that fresh trees are still used in their production.

Advantages of FSC-certified paper

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which describes itself as “a group of businesses, environmentalists and community leaders,” is a respected nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the world’s forests by overseeing and improving wood production. Any paper or wood products certified by the FSC have been created using sustainable practices. While recycled paper has a distinctly different texture from traditional paper, FSC-certified paper is indistinguishable.

Using eco-friendly paper

Despite the fact that the cost of the material is slightly higher than traditional, the demand for recycled paper and products made from it continues to grow. It is worth saying that the quality of such paper is in no way inferior to ordinary printing paper. It also has varieties (offset, coated), different densities and sizes and is perfect for printing all printing products.

Today, many newspapers, magazines, books, annual reports of large corporations in the millions are published with the FSC mark, indicating that the paper used to produce products comes from forests where there is no illegal logging, and where environmentally valuable forests were not damaged during production, where rare species of animals and plants are preserved, and the rights of local people were respected.

main photo: Cristian Pădureț

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