Environmental effects of paper

The environmental effects of paper are significant, which has led to changes in industry and behaviour at both business and personal levels. With the use of modern technology such as the printing press and the highly mechanized harvesting of wood, disposable paper became a relatively cheap commodity, which led to a high level of consumption and waste. The rise in global environmental issues such as air and water pollution, climate change, overflowing landfills and clearcutting have all lead to increased government regulations. There is now a trend towards sustainability in the pulp and paper industry as it moves to reduce clear cutting, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel consumption and clean up its influence on local water supplies and air pollution.

A pulp and paper mill in New Brunswick, Canada. Although pulp and paper manufacturing requires large amounts of energy, a portion of it comes from burning wood residue.

According to a Canadian citizens' organization, "People need paper products and we need sustainable, environmentally safe production."[1]

Environmental product declarations or product scorecards are available to collect and evaluate the environmental and social performance of paper products, such as the Paper Calculator,[2] Environmental Paper Assessment Tool (EPAT),[3] or Paper Profile.[4]

Both the U.S. and Canada generate interactive maps of environmental indicators which show pollution emissions of individual facilities.[5][6]