Myths on paper

Forests are always destroyed to make paper.
The reality:
Paper production supports sustainable forestry.

In Colombia there are 61,246,659 hectares of natural forests; in commercial forest plantations, there are currently 242,000 hectares. Colombia’s forestry potential to plant commercial forests is 5.1 million hectares.


Paper is bad for the environment.
The reality: Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products.

The basis of paper in Colombia is sugarcane bagasse, which is natural and renewable. As it grows and matures, it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Also, the paper continues to store carbon throughout its life.


Making paper uses a lot of non-renewable energy and leaves a high carbon footprint.
The reality: Most of the energy used is renewable. The carbon intensity is surprisingly low.

The pulp, paper and printing sector is one of the smallest greenhouse gas emitters on the planet. Greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 (extracts):
Electricity and heat 24.9%, Industry 14.7%, Transportation 14.3%, Agriculture 13.8%, Pulp, paper and printing 1.1%.


The only recycled paper should be used.
The reality: Paper from virgin sugarcane fibres is needed to start the paper cycle.

Recycled fibres degrade after several uses and the paper industry needs virgin fibre from plantations or cane crops managed responsibly to maintain the renewal cycle.


Paper and print products are wasteful.
The reality: Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world.

In Colombia, the paper recycling rate reached 48% in 2013. In Europe, 2 tons of paper are recycled every second.


Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than printing and paper
The reality: Not necessarily. Electronic media also have an environmental impact.

“With a reading time of 30 minutes per day, the environmental impact of a newspaper published on the network has, in general, the same range of impact as a printed newspaper.”


Today, the digital medium is preferred for communication.
The reality: Many people and organizations value paper communications.

In Colombia, 68% per cent of people prefer paper because it generates more confidence, satisfaction, security and effectiveness than digital documents of paper every second.


Source: “paper chain”