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The current consumption is about 300 million tonnes per year.

 

FACT

At the beginning of the First World War, the world's consumption of paper was only 15 million tons. By 1994 consumption had increased to nearly 270 million tons and was still growing. [Source]

By the mid-1990's recycling was accounting for 30 percent of the paper supply but still an enormous amount of timber had to be harvested to provide wood pulp for the paper mills.

 

NOW

Recycled paper accounts for 38 percent of the world’s total fiber supply and non-wood fibers from plants like hemp or kenaf make up 7 percent. 45 percent still comes from the forests.
 

 

TREES

Per person tree usage has increased over the same period too. UK consumes 4.48 hypothetical trees per person, per year while Belgium using the most trees, stands at 8.51 trees per person per year, as per the Economist.

 

NOW

Forest Cover

The Green Facts 2005 Report concludes that primary forest area (as opposed to plantations) has depleted globally by 60,000 square kilometers per year. Tree density in primary forests varies vetween 50,000 and 100,000 trees per sq.km, so the approximately depletion is occuring at the rate of 3 billion to 6 billion trees per year.

 

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Organized and Responsible Tree farming to the rescue.

Although tree farms or plantations help feed the demand for wood, they can’t provide the plant and animal diversity found in natural forests.

But if we look at it like this, tree plantations are preventing further encroachment of the natural rain forest cover, thus allowing them time and space to regrow, that is good news to mother earth.

Alternatives to Tree felling , recycled paper and non-wood pulp sources like Hemp and Kenaf should be promoted further and the paper mills given assistance required to slowly shift from wood pulp to these alternate pulps. Paper Mills would naturally resist converting from wood pulp to alternate pulps because they are setup to process wood and changing that requires investing tens of millions of money, this has to change.
 

 

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Why recycle if tree farming doesn't destroy our rainforests?

 

Recycling helps reduce the amount of paper that goes into landfill every year. Each of us uses an average of 700 pounds of paper products every year, so paper makes up almost a third of the material which goes into landfills.

Moreover recycle surplus can be sent to other countries to be used in paper production.US Newspaper recycle can end up as a box in Africa, saving more trees in the process.

 

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Some Facts to make us feel good

 

Trees

More than 2.3 billion tree seedlings are planted in the United States each year. £6m of government funding to plant 4 million trees in England in 2014.

 

Oldest

The single oldest living thing on Earth is a tree, a 4,700 year-old bristlecone pine tree in Nevada. It was growing when the Egyptians built the pyramids.