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U.S. Paper Recovery Rate Is at an All-Time High

U.S. Paper Recovery Rate Is at an All-Time High

The paper recovery rate is currently at an all-time high, according to a report from the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA). Last year, 66.8 percent of the paper consumed in the United States was recycled, which is great news! This post will dive further into the details of paper recycling, why it's important and how you can set up a recycling program in your office to contribute to the greater good.

Paper Recovery: The Details

Of the 77,895 tons of paper supplied in 2015, 52,040 tons were recovered. The AF&PA began setting paper recovery goals back in 1990. Since then, the paper recovery rate in the United States has doubled. In 1990, only about one-third of all supplied paper (33.5 percent) was recovered. 

While that recovery rate steadily improved over the subsequent years — its previous record high was 66.4 percent in 2011 — paper has never been recovered at the rate it is now. What's more is that the AF&PA isn't done yet. The association's goal is to reach a recovery rate of 70 percent by 2020. The 66.8 percent recovery rate is a huge step in the right direction toward achieving that. 

In 2015, 66.8 percent of the paper consumed in the United States was recycled.

The Importance of Paper Recovery

Would it surprise you to learn that the production of recycled paper uses up to 70 percent less energy than virgin paper does? It's true! That's because most of the energy utilized is turning wood into paper via the pulping process. That's why it is so important to recycle paper. By recycling paper rather than cutting down more trees to harvest wood pulp, we're able to better preserve wildlife habitats and ecosystems. 

There are two other notable benefits to recovering and recycling paper. First, fewer emissions are released. Virgin paper normally goes through a chlorine bleaching process, and the emissions can be harmful to the environment. Recycled paper doesn't usually go through this chlorine bleaching, and when it does, different, more eco-friendly chemicals are able to be used. Then there's the biodegradable aspect of paper. Paper that is directed to landfills rots and releases methane into the air. Methane is a harmful greenhouse gas, which contributes to a number of environmental problems.

Set Up a Consultation Today

As you can see, the recovery of paper is extremely important when it comes to protecting our environment and moving toward a more sustainable future, and the more we're able to recover, the better. So what are you waiting for? Set up a business consultation with us today so that you can start recovering paper and helping the U.S. reach that goal of 70 percent recovered paper by the year 2020.

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