The Complete Guide to a Circular Economy of Paper

circular economy of paper

Although we live in a digital era, we still produce an astonishing amount of paper. Globally, paper production is at 390 million tonnes, and is expected to rise to 490 million tonnes by 2020. Unsurprisingly, massive rates of paper production requires massive amounts of natural resources. Approximately 24 trees, 300 million liters of water, and 32 million BTUs of energy are used to produce just 1 ton of paper. Clearly this has a significant environmental impact, both upstream during production and raw material sourcing, and downstream when the paper and production byproducts are disposed.

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The Circular Economy: More than Just ‘Recycling Better’

linear vs recycling vs circular economy

All too frequently the terms ‘recycling’ and ‘circular economy’ are understood as interchangeable concepts. We often think of moving towards a circular economy as simply getting better at recycling – and while this notion isn’t entirely off the mark, it is important to understand that the circular economy involves so much more.

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