Recycled paper is the better choice!
The paper industry consumes huge amounts of wood. Every fifth tree that is felled in our world ends up in paper production. About 20 percent of these trees come from virgin forests. In addition, large amounts of energy, water and chemicals are consumed to obtain beautiful bright paper from the wood fibres.
The paper industry consumes huge amounts of wood. Every fifth tree that is felled in our world ends up in paper production. About 20 percent of these trees come from virgin forests. In addition, large amounts of energy, water and chemicals are consumed to obtain beautiful light-coloured paper from the wood fibres. And this for a product that in the vast majority of cases only has a short lifespan, such as newspapers, packaging or sanitary paper. Especially in the case of toilet paper, paper tissues or kitchen roll, the valuable fibres are irretrievably lost via the sewage system or household waste after only a single and very short use. Ideally, only recycled paper should be used as a raw material for such hygiene papers. The "Blue Angel" eco-label provides clear guidance.
When paper is recycled - whether for toilet paper, exercise books or printer paper - the ecological balance in terms of water and energy consumption, wastewater pollution from chemicals and CO2 emissions is much more favourable than when paper is made from fresh wood. It is precisely the extraction of the individual fibres from the wood that is the most energy- and water-intensive step in paper production. Buying a package of 500 sheets (2.5 kg) of recycled paper saves 5.5 kg of wood and more than half the amount of energy and water that would otherwise be needed.
The brochure "Paper - Protecting Forests and the Climate" by the Forum Ecology and Paper explains in detail the types of paper production, their impact on nature and biodiversity as well as recommendable seals for recycled paper. This brochure is available for download at www.foep.info. If you would like to have it in your hands, you will also find a link to order it there or you can get it from the DHB consumer advice centre in Dieburg. This brochure is made of 100 percent recycled paper and meets the strict criteria of the "Blue Angel". It is printed on five different types of recycled paper and thus serves as a kind of "sample book" when making decisions about one's own sustainable printed products.