For more than 2000 years, paper has been a major communication tool for humans. Even in today’s digital era, people continue to use paper for all sorts of communication whether it be a letter, catalogue, newspaper or brochure. Paper continues to be a major part of our lives, and whilst digital devices make information quickly and easily accessible, there is nothing quite like holding a book to read or doodling out garden designs on a sketch pad.
Despite the prevalence of paper, there are some facts that are lesser known and yet important when understanding use of paper within your business.
FACT: Every tonne of paper that gets recycled saves 20 trees!
Not only that, it also saves almost 2.5 cubic metres of landfill space, 26,500 litres of water and produces 73% less air pollution than making paper from new materials. It also saves enough energy to power the average home for 6 months. Not only, that more than twice as much paper is recycled than is sent to landfills.
FACT: Paper isn’t always made from trees
Some paper is made from cloth pieces and traditional bank notes are made from cotton fibre which makes them more durable than regular paper.
FACT: One tree can make over 80,000 sheets of paper
The majority of paper is made from wood, and as trees come in different sizes it is difficult to say exactly how many sheets of paper can be made from any single tree. However, as an average, it is said that one pine tree can make just over 80,000 sheets of paper.
FACT: On average, an office worker handles around 10,000 sheets of paper each year
That’s a whole lot of paper!
FACT: The greatest distance flown by a paper aeroplane is 69.14m
It doesn’t all have to be serious when it comes to paper. The art of paper aeroplanes has been around for a very long time, and I challenge you to find even one person who has not made a paper plane in their lifetime. In 2012, Joe Ayoob set a new world record distance of 69.14m using a paper aeroplane designed by John Collins (AKA ‘ThePaperAirPlaneGuy’).
It’s important to remember that paper does have an environmental impact, so carefully consider your need for a paper copy before you jump to hit that “print” button. The best way to act as an environmentally responsible company is to ensure your paper suppliers are sourcing their raw material in a local, responsible and sustainable manner. Additionally, make sure you are using energy efficient printers, and sustainable inks and toners where possible.
Further reading: Two Sides offers an interesting fact sheet about paper production in Australia.