How is paper wasted the most?

Forests become paper

Almost every second industrially felled tree worldwide is processed into paper - newspapers, magazines, wrapping paper, packaging, kitchen towels or toilet paper. This makes the paper industry a key industry when it comes to the future of our forests.

The wood for the paper products comes from forests all over the world. The sad thing is that when you buy a paper product you cannot automatically be sure that illegal logging and overexploitation are excluded. According to research by the WWF, paper in the order of 2.6 million cubic meters and an additional 1.3 million cubic meters of pulp from potentially illegal sources reached the EU in 2006 alone.

Overall, the effects of the paper industry on the forests are exacerbated by the fact that the global demand for paper is growing steadily. In 1970 around 130 million tons of paper were produced around the world, in 2005 it was 367 million tons and in 2006 it was 381 million tons. A further increase to over 440 million tons is expected by 2015! The industrialized countries in particular consume a lot of paper.

Fortunately, there are already alternatives available to paper consumers that can reduce the negative impact on the environment. In addition to recycled papers, certified fresh fiber papers can also be used. For example, the FSC logo can be found in many paperback books. The certificate ensures that the product comes from forests that have been managed according to demanding ecological and social standards.

But beware! There are now a large number of labels of different quality. So is the consumer helpless at the mercy of the glut of labels? The WWF provides a clear view - you can find our consumer tips here.

  • After the USA, China and Japan, Germany is the fourth largest paper producer in the world (about 26.3 million tons in 2006).
  • After the USA, Germany is the second largest paper importer in the world (around 11.6 million tons in 2006)
  • After the USA, Germany is the second largest pulp importer in the world (approx. 4 million tons in 2006).
  • Germany uses as much paper as the continents of Africa and South America put together.
  • The per capita consumption of paper in Germany is rising steadily and, at 253 kilograms (2006), is only exceeded by a few countries in the world.
  • Hardly any other country collects more waste paper than Germany.
  • WWF label guide "wood and paper products"

    When buying wood and paper products, consumers come across many different quality marks. Our guide will help you keep track of things. Continue reading ...