Happily, despite widespread beliefs to the contrary, the paper making industry is doing no harm to the world’s forests.
FACT: No, the paper industry plants many more trees than it cuts down.
In every country which supplies significant quantities of pulp to US – and there are 15 of them – at least two trees are planted for each one cut down.
In managed forests, trees are grown as crop to be harvested like corn in a field – the difference being the harvests are at somewhat longer intervals!
FACT: No. The paper industry is not destroying the Brazilian or any other rainforest. Tropical hardwoods – rainforest trees – are not particularly suitable for paper making.
Over 80% of deforestation is caused by the need for fuel or the space needed to live and produce food, the driving forces being over-population, poverty and hunger.
It is a fact that the production of paper today is helping to boost the world’s store of trees due to the strict, environmentally responsible re-planting policies adopted by world nations.
FACT: No. The converse is nearer the truth: the paper industry is having a beneficial effect on the world’s atmosphere.
If followed by fresh planting (as in managed forests) the felling of mature trees is a positive aid to the atmosphere, since rapidly growing young trees are much more efficient at re-
moving harmful carbon dioxide from the air and returning oxygen.
Half of the world’s forests are in industrialized countries, where the areas covered by trees are not decreasing.
In the developing countries sadly, the picture is very different. Not only are the rainforests disappearing, but so also are the sparse savanna forests in dry countries where the destruction of trees leads rapidly to the break up of the soil, erosion, and ultimately to the steady growth of deserts.
With thanks to the Pulp and Information Center.