There is a great deal of interest these days in the environment and lessening human impact on the planet's resources. One area in which there is growing public acceptance of green practices is in the use of recycled paper.
A catalog printing service that uses recycled paper can have a huge impact on the health of forests. By helping to preserve forests, recycled paper can save 74% of the air pollution caused by creating paper from new wood. Trees also store excess carbon within their structures. Stored carbon does not contribute to climate change. It is estimated that the world's forests store 312 billion tons of carbon.
Water pollution is less with recycled paper. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 35% less pollution is caused by recycled paper. Because recycled wood pulp can be bleached with sodium hydrosulfite or hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorine products, the whitening process is much less detrimental to water quality. Both chlorine and the byproducts created by its use in making paper are toxic. They can cause cancer, reproductive and other health issues.
Recycled paper used in cheap booklet printing or other printed products also uses much less energy than making paper from virgin wood. From 40-64% less energy is used to make new paper from recycled paper.
Currently paper makes up about 35% of the volume in landfills. By reducing the amount of paper entering the waste stream, landfills fill less quickly. Consumers also save money on ever-increasing landfill fees. When paper and other substances decompose in landfills, methane gas is created. Methane is a major contributor to climate change.