10 Fun Facts About Paper & the Paper Industry

By Paige Wills in Facts About Deforestation, Facts About The Paper Industry, How Paper Is Environmentally Friendly, Why Choose Paper?

English: Used paper is collected for paper rec...

English: Used paper is collected for paper recycling in Ponte a Serraglio near Bagni di Lucca, Italy Deutsch: Altpapier auf einem Recyclinghof in Ponte a Serraglio bei Bagni di Lucca, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since this will be my last month blogging for EMA, I want to spend it reiterating the importance not only paper plays in our daily lives, but the positive impact the paper industry has on our economy as well.

So I thought I’d share 10 fun and interesting facts about paper and the paper industry that you may not know.

According to the American Forest and Paper Association’s (AF&PA), PaperRecycles, and TwoSides websites:

  1. Every day, U.S. paper makers recycle enough paper to fill a 15 mile long train of boxcars (AF&PA).
  2. Benjamin Franklin was the first paper merchant in America. He helped start 18 paper mills in Virginia and nearby areas (AF&PA).
  3. Cotton and linen rags used to be the raw materials papermaker’s used (AF&PA).
  4. “During the American Revolution, paper was so hard to find that soldiers ripped pages from books to use them as wadding for their rifles” (AF&PA).
  5. “In 2010, 77 percent of paper and paperboard mills used some recovered paper and 115 mills used only recovered paper” (AF&PA)
  6. Recycling and recovering one ton of paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space (AF&PA).
  7. “In 2010, the amount of paper recovered for recycling averaged 334 pounds for each man, woman and child in the United States” (AF&PA).
  8. The Chinese invented paper around 105 A.D. and kept it a secret for many years (AF&PA).
  9. In 2011, paper recovery increased by 1.2 million tons to 66.8 percent, up from 63.5 percent in 2010 and 33.5 percent in 1990. From 1990-2011, recovery of paper and paperboard has increased a total of 81 percent (PaperRecycles.org).
  10. “The U.S. paper and forest products industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of U.S. manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP); is among the top 10 manufacturing employers in 48 states; and employs nearly 900,000 people earning $50 billion annually” (TwoSides).

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