Sustainability of the Paper Industry
While we all know that most papers originate from wood at some point, the source of that wood plays a critical factor in the sustainability of the process. Until recently, concern for preserving non-renewable natural habitats has not been a priority for the paper industry. Recently, the Asia Paper and Pulp group became the first major player in the paper industry to make a pledge to move towards more sustainable practices.
They currently operate on 2.6 million hectares and have created management plans to eliminate further deforestation and only use the land that has been previously deforested. It marks the current effort by a private market force for sustainable practices in terms of net area. In the developing world, deforestation is more of a concern as there are not regulatory controls on environmental practices and sustainability. A private player making the largest current pledge of not created further harm is a monumental occasion and a boon for the world as a whole. 35% of harvested trees are used to make paper and reducing the footprint of this helps the world out as a whole.
In developed countries such as the United States, all the land that will have been forested has been and the remainder is protected. Paper companies and suppliers own their own land where artificial forests have been planted and harvest those to generate the pulp and wood. While this has its own concerns, pollutants and chemical runoff from the forests, it is in terms of net harm much less then harvested natural irreplaceable forests.
For high quality using recycled fibers is not an option, the fibers degrade with each time it is recycled and for anyone reading this article, quality is of the upmost importance. Instituting this policy lets printers have their high quality paper that their business depends on while also preventing further harm to our world.