The cruel truth about recycling. Part two - paper
The importance of paper
Do not be afraid to use it even in large quantities, because it really has very little effect on the degradation of the environment on Earth. On the contrary, it is the material of the future. Thanks to it, it is possible to give up many completely non-organic plastic materials and foils. Humanity has a chance to make a significant technological leap. Yes, we really believe that. Paper can be the key to healing the environment. What we breathe and what we eat. For the comfort of our children's lives.
A paper myth. Are forests threatened?
Certainly, you have heard the slogan many times that using paper you destroy forests. This myth can easily be thrown between cartoons. Forests, especially tropical, but also those growing in temperate climates grow rapidly. The increase in wood mass is sufficient for them to regenerate themselves. Reasonable forest management does not pose a threat and does not devastate forests. Campaigns of large companies really encouraging to resign from paper invoices in favor of electronic ones in the name of supposed protection of the natural environment. Let's not delude ourselves - it's about gaining savings by these companies, not about protecting the environment. High-quality wood is rarely used for paper production. Often for the production of sawn timber from which paper is made, sawmill waste and trees from felling and so-called cutting are obtained. windbreaks, i.e. trees broken after violent storms or whirlwinds - those that are not suitable as structural and building elements. The acquisition of building and firewood and its felling for new agricultural areas is a much greater threat to forests.
Why paper can save the environment. recycling
Paper is an ideal material that can be recycled. This process is very easy and relatively cheap. It can be used even where the economy and economics are at a very low level, as it used to be in the PRL. So let's take advantage of this opportunity and give a second life to paper products in the name of sound management and a better future for our Earth. If you can, segregate waste without forgetting paper. Do not burn it in the oven, do not throw it in a trash with other rubbish, because it's like you burn it. Give him a second life. Let it become a packaging for your favorite product again, a book cover, cardboard box in which you will receive another package, or just a simple ecological filler of free space (instead of e.g. bubble wrap).
Paper or foil?
Nowadays we can't do without foil. It's a fact. Plastic film packaging has many advantages, especially in the food industry. However, the undeniable truth is also that we abuse the film in many situations that do not require it. Paper, in its various forms, can easily replace foil. The paper can be thick, it can be thin, it can be stiff, it can be flexible. The paper can provide great protection against moisture. It can be combined with plastic by lamination (covering the paper with a thin layer of foil), thanks to which it obtains the properties of a typical foil packaging. I am asking you - especially when you have an impact on the production method in your company or how raw materials are used in your environment - and if you can use paper instead of foil, do it. Remember - the more paper you use, the less film will be produced and then burned in the future.
Author's article. 01-2020. Originaly written in Polish