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What Is The Environmental Impact Of Paper?

What Is The Environmental Impact of Paper?

The environmental impact of paper is very significant which has affected the industry and personal and business level decisions behaviors. As technology has been advanced such as printing press and wood harvesting, there is a lot of high amount of disposable papers which increases high consumption and wastes because of its being affordable.


Though the increase in environmental issues, like air pollution and water and global climate change have led to increased regulations by the government. They have implemented to reduce water use, clear-cutting, fossil fuel consumption to reduce the impact on water supplies and air pollution.

The Environmental Issues By Paper Industry

From the past four decades, paper usage has risen about 400%. Deforestation is a major issue in both developing and developing areas.

1- Air Pollution

From emanation from all different kinds of industries, paper industries and pulp have a major effect on the environment. It also produces sulfur oxides, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxide. Sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide is the reason in acid rain whereas carbon dioxide is the cause to blame climate change by being a greenhouse gas.

2- Pollution By Water

Paper factories and pulp are the main sources of solids, nutrients, and dissolved matter like lignin discharge in wastewater. Though there are more agents such as alcohol or inorganic materials like chlorates. Moreover, they all lead to polluting lakes and rivers.

3- Waste of Paper

Almost 26 percent of solid wastes are being discarded from paper and paperboard. Besides, paper mills and pulp also contribute to air pollution, land, and water. This industry consumes more water to produce volume products as compare to other industries which use less water to produce. De-inking of papers is the main source of chemical emissions.

4- Chlorine-Based Materials

By bleaching from wood pulp. Most industries use Chlorines. In starting industries used elemental chlorine which had great volumes of dioxins produced which were constant and highly toxic contaminants. Though from the 1990s it has been reduced when total elemental chlorine and chlorine-free was been replaced by the elemental chlorine bleaching of pulp.

5- Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Almost 69% of greenhouse gas emissions are global from the energy industry and transportation. Which printing and paper industry are accountable for 1 % of the carbon dioxide produced. On dumping sites when a paper is been disposed it’s subsequently broken. Though the paper industry and pulps use fossil fuels for raw material production and transportation.


Organizations and governments have placed different measures to address environmental impact. They are trying to save the environment by suggesting different alternatives. Which include

  • Regulating paper and pulp
  • Paper waster material recycling
  • Also, Maintain forest management
  • Pulp bleaching use of non-elemental chlorine procedure
  • Recycling the paper and use again

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