Chlorine Free Paper Issues


How much of all timber harvested goes into making paper?

LISTENING STUDY: Most responses reference the percentage of trees harvested worldwide.

42% of the forests cut every year go towards the production of pulp and paper. - Forest Ethics

Forty two percent of the world's total harvest of wood for industrial purposes, everything but fuelwood, goes towards paper production. - Taiga Rescue Network

Of the wood harvested for "industrial" (everything but fuelwood), fully 42 percent goes to paper production. This proportion is expected to grow in the coming years since the world's appetite for paper is expanding twice as fast as that for any other major wood product. By 2050 it is expected that pulp and paper manufacture will account for over half of the world's industrial wood demand.
     The United States produces about one third of the world's pulpwood, with most of it grown in the Southeast. - Abramovitz 1999

Forty-two percent of the world's industrial wood harvest goes to paper, so using less paper is an excellent way to reduce the demand for wood products. - Co-op America

40% of the world's industrial logging goes into making paper and this is expected to reach 50% in the near future. - Abramovitz 1998

More than 40 percent of logged trees is used for paper. - Resource Conservation Alliance, Focus on Paper Consumption

My guess is about 30-40 percent. - Frank Locantore, Co-op America

Paper is the fastest growing segment of the wood products industry and by extremely conservative estimates at least one out of every three trees harvested today ends up as pulp. Forest activists believe that percentage is far higher. - Imhoff 1999

About 30% of the wood we use is for pulp and paper, half of which is made from sawmill waste from the production of solid wood products. - Transcript from Trees Are the Answer, video hosted by Dr. Patrick Moore, Green Spirit, 2001

LISTENING STUDY: Other responses specify the percentage of trees harvested in the United States.

Pulpwood production (in the United States) tripled from 1952 to 2001, increasing to about a quarter of total harvest. - The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

In the U.S., 500 million acres, an area almost three times the size of Texas, is used to grow wood for paper. - Cefola 2001

27% of roundwood production in the United States goes to papermaking. - Stora Enso (Source: An Analysis of the Timber Situation in the U.S., USDA Report)

Approximately one third of all wood harvested in the U.S. is used to make paper or paper products. - Victoria Mills, Project Manager, Corporate Partnerships, Environmental Defense

Weyerhaeuser reported that in contrast to 1950, when it had 21 percent timber utilization per acre, by 1975 the company was converting 28 percent of the harvested timber into lumber, 10 percent into plywood, 9 percent into particle board, and 32 percent into paper - for a total of 79 percent utilization. Some of the remaining 21 percent was used for fuel. - Cox 1985

[W]hat is generally less well understood and documented is the significant integration between pulp producers an dlumber and other wood products producers around the use of wood residues: shavings, slabs, chips and sawdust. This secondary materials flow in fact substantially supports the corporate organization. . . . Because there are only a certain number of solid rectilinear objects (lumber) that can be produced from cylindrical objects (logs), the yield, or proportion of lumber produced to roundwood consumed, averages only about 38 percent (softwood) to 49 percent (hardwood). In other words, some 50 to 60 percent of the wood that enters a sawmill emerges in the form of wood residues. Similarly, the yield of plywood and veneer products ranges from about 45 to 57 percent of the incoming roundwood, leaving the remainder as residues. On balance, slightly more than half o the roundwood (sawlogs and veneer logs) that enters sawmills or plywood and veneer mills emerges as wood residues, and these residues have become a valuable commodity in their own right. In fact, it is more accurate to view wood residue as a valuable co-product than as a by-product of lumber and other wood products manufacturing. . . .
     For [1986] the U.S. Forest Service calculated that the use of wood residues from lumber, plywood, and veneer mills was apportioned as follows: pulp (55 percent); fuel (28 percent); particleboard, fiberboard, and miscellaneous industries (11 percent); and export (3 percent). Only about 3 percent of wood residues went unused, producing an overall efficiency of roundwood use approaching 100 percent. - Maureen Smith 1997

LISTENING STUDY: Still other responses reference the percentage of trees harvested in a particular region of the United States.

Currently, the southern U.S. is by far the largest paper-producing region in the world, with 103 pulp mills producing approximately 25% of the world's paper. - Dogwood Alliance

In Maine about 50% of all timber harvested goes into making paper. - Robert R. Bryan, Forest Ecologist, Maine Audubon

The proportion of a timber cut going to paper versus other beneficial uses is highly dependent on the manufacturing facility, geography, and local market. Maximum yields for a groundwood mill are around 50%, and about 25% for a Kraft pulp mill. International Paper gets most of the pulp for paper from thinning the forest through a saw timber rotation and therefore it is very difficult to precisely determine how much of the cut comprises a paper product. - International Paper


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