Why recycled paper?



Why should printouts of my articles be made on recycled paper only?
Because my publications are not meant to contribute to environmental degradation.


What is recycled paper?
Recycled paper is produced
–   from 100% fibres from former waste paper (i.e., less exploitation of forests),
–   without bleaching (that's where the aesthetic greyish colour comes from),
–   in a closed production cycle (i.e., less water pollution),
–   with low energy requirements.
Here is more information in English, in Norwegian and in German.


What is the problem with other sorts of paper?
The short version is as follows:
–   Using trees for paper production is not objectionable per se: first of all, trees are a renewable resource. Furthermore paper demands cannot be met by recycling alone (mainly because paper cannot be recycled more often than c. 10 times). However, paper demands cannot be met by trees alone either, and that's where the problem starts: the paper demands of today are already higher than supplies from sustainable forestry possibly could be, and demands are still increasing. That is why you can't be sure that the sheets you are using did not come from ecologically destructive forestry.
–   Conventional paper has to be bleached in order to get so white as we have become used to expect from paper. Bleaching using highly toxic and ecologically disastrous chlorine compounds is still normal practice in many countries. But even in the countries that have banned this harmful procedure, bleaching still requires lots of energy and chemicals – less than before, but more than necessary.
–   Demands for freshwater and emission of organic refuses is more than 10 times higher under production of conventional paper, compared to recycled paper.
–   The energy required for producing conventional paper is approximately two times the energy needed to produce the same amount of recycled paper.


What if you don't have recycled paper at hand?
–   Buy it at your local stationer's shop!
–   If your stationer's doesn't have recycled paper: Ask why! And ask them to order it for you!
–   While you are waiting for recycled paper supplies: Use reverse sides of used sheets!
–   If you have not yet begun to collect unused back pages: Make at the very least double-sided printouts!
–   (The latter applies to recycled paper as well, of course.)