How Many Trees Can We Save through Recycling Packaging?

Recycled paper is an incredibly important raw material. Around 80% of paper made in the UK uses recovered paper, the largest source of recyclate from domestic waste streams. According to DEFRA’s UK Statistics on Waste, just over 70% of paper and cardboard was recovered and recycled in 2021, making it the third material with the highest recycling rate.

With these key statistics in mind, you may be wondering about the environmental impact of the paper industry, including how many trees are cut down for virgin paper each year and if there’s any way we can reduce this. Keep reading to discover how recycling initiatives can be key in curtailing deforestation and safeguarding our planet’s resources.

How Many Trees are Cut Down for Paper Each Year?

On average, 35% of all trees that are cut down each year are used to make paper. This equates to around 160,000km² of forest chopped down annually, and only 9% of trees used for paper come from ancient forests.

While trees are technically a renewable resource, paper usage has skyrocketed over the past 40 years and is now up by 400%. The daily felling of over 200 million trees is necessary to meet worldwide paper consumption needs.

How much paper comes from one tree?

This varies depending on the type of tree used, the size, shape, desired paper quality, and thickness. Pine trees are the most common variant to use for paper, and a standard size will produce around 10,000 sheets of paper. To put it into perspective, a ream of paper (500 sheets) will use around 5% of a tree.

Related: Should You Switch to Recyclable Packaging Materials? 

Why Should You Recycle Paper Packaging

Why Should You Recycle Paper Packaging?

Recycling and reusing paper and cardboard has immense benefits for the environment. Aside from reducing the number of trees cut down, here are some of the reasons why you should recycle your paper packaging and opt for paper that contains a high percentage of recycled content:

1. Conserves energy

Recycling paper consumes considerably less energy compared to producing it from virgin pulp. It saves approximately 64% in energy, contributing to a more sustainable and efficient production process.

2. Cuts down on water usage

The paper production process requires substantial water usage. Recycling paper significantly reduces this demand, saving about 58% in water consumption compared to manufacturing paper from raw materials.

3. Combats air pollution

Opting for recycled paper helps combat air pollution. The process generates around 60 pounds less air pollution than paper production from virgin pulp, contributing to cleaner air and a healthier environment.

4. Reduces waste

Recycling paper packaging aids in minimising overall waste. With paper constituting about 26% of landfill content, recycling helps divert this material from landfills, reducing environmental stress and promoting sustainable waste management practices.

5. Helps to conserve forests

By choosing recycled paper, you’ll actively be assisting with forest conservation. The reduced demand for virgin pulp means fewer trees are cut down, helping to preserve vital ecosystems and biodiversity.

6. Huge resource savings

Every ton of recycled paper saves valuable resources, including 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 380 gallons of oil. By choosing recycled paper, you’ll ensure more responsible business practices and a more eco-friendly approach to paper consumption.

7. Repurposing possibilities 

Paper is highly versatile and can be repurposed into tonnes of different things. For example, corrugated cardboard can be made into new cardboard or void fill or could go on to become something completely different, like a gift box.

Related: Why You Should Choose Eco-Friendly eCommerce Packaging

Choosing Sustainable Packaging for Your Business

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly packaging solution for your business, we’ve got the answers you’re after. Our products are made from at least 80% recycled materials, with many options crafted from 100% recycled content. We’re passionate about sustainability; that’s why all our products can be recycled, composted or are biodegradable. 

By choosing Packaging Supplies, you’ll be helping to protect the environment, preserve the planet’s resources and promote your eco-friendly brand. 

Related: Packaging Supplies Achieves Carbon Neutral Status

Postal Boxes will printed sleeves copy

We have a wide range of solutions made from recycled paper and cardboard, including postal boxes and mailers, food packaging, paper bags, shipping boxes and handy additions such as paper tape and void fill. Whatever your business needs, we have the perfect solution in our online store.

If you want to make an impact with your brand, we also offer a custom packaging service. Choose from a huge variety of packaging options sourced from responsibly sourced materials, and we’ll create the packaging of your dreams using water or vegetable-based inks. 

Get in touch today and get a free custom packaging quote within 24-48 hours.