Wednesday, December 27, 2006
What to Know About Wood-Based Products
Wood and Paper are extremely valuable products, and they can be harvested and produced in responsible and sustainable ways. Unfortunately, the current methods of sourcing and producing wood and paper products are extremely harmful to ecosystems and the environment, not to mention human health.
Every second one tree is cut down for the production of magazine paper. Check out our Forest Logging Counter to see how many trees have been used since the start of the 21st century.
The Forest Logging Counter shows how many trees have been cut down to produce all the paper used by the U.S. magazine industry since the start of the twenty-first century.
High quality, cost-competitive postconsumer recycled paper is widely available. The widespread devastation of natural forests to produce magazine paper has been publicly documented since before the turn of the century. Yet the vast majority of magazine publishers still choose to print on paper made from virgin wood fibers, rather than using recycled paper. A demand-driven shift in the paper industry towards paper with postconsumer content would save hundreds of thousands of trees per year, and would help to protect the incredible biodiversity and richness of the world's forests.
This counter is designed both to put a figure on the destruction caused by this high-profile industry that uses the pulp from approximately 35 million trees annually, and to clearly demonstrate the rate at which this destruction is occurring. At about one tree every second, the clock is ticking for forests worldwide.
View the counter now »
To learn how magazines' annual tree use is calculated, see "Calculating Trees Logged For Magazine Paper Production."
Get more information about damage to forests by paper consumption and production.
Of the global wood harvest for “industrial uses” (everything but fuelwood) 42% goes to paper production, a proportion expected to grow by more than 50 percent in the next 50 years. (Abramovitz, “Paper Cuts”, WorldWatch Institute 1999, p. 124)
Industrialized nations, with 20 percent of the world’s population, consume 87 percent of the world’s printing and writing papers. (Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme, Keynote Address UNEP’s 7th International High Level Seminar on Cleaner Production, 29-30 April 2002)
Global production in the pulp, paper and publishing sector is expected to increase by 77% from 1995 to 2020 (OECD Environmental Outlook, 2001, p.215)
The pulp and paper industry is the single largest consumer of water used in industrial activities in OECD countries and is the third greatest industrial greenhouse gas emitter, after the chemical and steel industries (OECD Environmental Outlook, p. 218)
Paper pulp exports from Latin America from forests converted into plantations and from the harvesting and conversion of tropical and subtropical forests are expected to grow 70 percent between 2000 and 2010. (Mark Payne, “Latin America Aims High for the Next Century”, Pulp and Paper International, 1999)
Most of the world’s paper supply, about 71 percent, is not made from timber harvested at tree farms but from forest-harvested timber, from regions with ecologically valuable, biologically diverse habitat. (Toward a Sustainable Paper Cycle: An Independent Study on the Sustainability of the Pulp and Paper Industry, 1996)
Tree plantations host about 90 percent fewer species than the forests that preceded them. (Allen Hershkowitz, Bronx Ecology, 2002, p. 75)
Check out magazine paper heroes that are already printed on environmentally responsible paper.
The magazines listed below have made a commitment to using environmentally responsible papers – papers that contain postconsumer recycled content and/or responsibly sourced virgin fiber. * Click on the name of a magazine to browse their website!
Find out what you can do to minimize your impact on our forests »