How Eco-friendly is Paper?
There are several misconceptions around paper that it is bad for the environment. The facts may surprise you.
There is a perception that forests and bushland are shrinking, but in fact, around the world, notably Europe, they are expanding by an area equivalent to 1,500 football pitches, every single day, thanks to reforestation and the establishment of managed plantations.
Recycling paper is an eco-efficient waste management system - over 70 percent is recycled.
Wood is a completely renewable resource, making paper one of the world’s most sustainable products. For paper to be classified as sustainable, it must be made from wood sourced from managed plantations and non-old growth forests where trees are replanted after felling. Modern forestry practices and regulations dictate that plantation forests have to plant more trees than they fell. Similarly, paper mills have to comply with strict renewable energy and water policies.
There are strong argument for using either recycled or plantation timber paper products. Recycled paper is best for pulping for packaging and cardboard, because it requires bleaching and de-inking processes plus transport costs, because most de-inking plants are overseas. Certified virgin paper manufacturers, on the other hand, such as the PEFC-Certified paper we choose for GO magazine, use pulp from one or two standard locations, therefore reducing transportation requirements. PEFC stands for the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™, an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation. When you see this certification on a printed product, it is a reassurance that the paper comes from a sustainable source. The use of certified paper products also increases the demand for responsible forestry plantation and replanting programs, which in turn increases carbon ‘capture’ or sequestration.
GO magazine also uses vegetable-based inks, from materials such as soy oil; plus, those issues which are posted directly to Go Vita customers are packed in BioWrap, an innovative biodegradable product which breaks down 95 percent faster than traditional plastics. In short, you can be confident that after you place your used GO magazine in the compost heap, it will be eaten by worms within weeks and returned to the soil as nourishment!
It is worth noting that electronic communication also has environmental impacts, including the materials needed to make a device, the fact many people regularly upgrade to new devices, and that phones are not 100 percent recyclable.
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