Explore the modern day story of the U.S. paper industry—an industry that’s worked in tandem with nature for many years. Explore how the industry uses every part of the tree, leaving nothing wasted. How recycling, the familiar part of paper’s sustainability story, is just one way the industry cares for the planet. And, how the people who depend on forests for a living replant trees—in fact, nearly twice the volume of trees are replanted.
Find fun facts about recycling, paper production and sustainable land management listed below and learn how you play an important role in making our nation’s forests thrive when you buy paper products.
Did you know?
- The pulp and paper industry plants about two times as much wood as it harvests, according to the American Forest & Paper Association in 2018.
- The life cycle of paper can be planet-friendly! Here’s why:
- Paper and cardboard are some of the most recycled materials in the U.S.: In recent years, nearly 68% of paper and 93.6% of corrugated containers, like cardboard boxes, were recycled in the U.S.
- Paper fibers can be recycled up to seven times before the fibers go on to other uses.
- Paper recovered for recycling in the U.S. in 2022 would fill nearly 4,000 Washington Monuments. And, every year since 2009, the recycling rate has met or exceeded 63%.
- Your online ordering addiction has a hand in making forests thrive: Most cardboard boxes, like the ones you get when you shop online, are made from 70% to 100% recycled material.
- The paper industry’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop at the trees: In 2016, about two-thirds of the energy used by leading mills came from renewable biomass energy.
- The paper industry also uses more renewable energy than any other industrial sector. In a 2018 report, nearly a quarter of major mills generated so much energy that they sold it back to the grid!