Paper use is one of greatest causes of deforestation. Since settlement in Australia, over 90% of our old growth forests have been cleared or logged and paper production continues to drive the destruction of forests.
What is recycled paper?
Recycled paper is paper that is reconstituted into paper again. The best paper to be using is 100% post-consumer recycled paper that is made from paper scrap that can, no longer be used for its intended purpose by the consumer, which is reprocessed into paper again. This paper is collected from offices, households and industry by local councils and scrap paper merchants.
High quality white scrap paper is in short supply where as low quality scrap paper collected from households and industry is available in glut proportions. To have a real impact on recycling we should try to use this gray unbleached paper. This paper can be recognised by pieces of foreign matter in the paper including minute pieces of foil and coloured material. If you can see these pieces in the paper it indices that the paper is really recycled. If we continue to use non-recycled paper in preference to real 100% post-consumer recycled paper the paper scrap will end up being dumped, resulting in substantial methane release. Methane is a very problematic green house gas exacerbating our climate catastrophe, let alone the extreme problems caused by logging such as emissions CO2 , removal of CO2, Loss of rainfall, Loss of water storage in the forest, Loss of endangered species, Extreme weather, to name just a few.
Using gray/brown copy paper encourages others to recycle as the fruits of their recycling effort can be seen. Often brown kraft paper is mistaken to be recycled, but usually comes from old growth forests. Paper that claims to only have recycled content does very little for recycling as the actual content is minimal and often is just faulty paper that is fed back through the paper mill again, that is usual paper making procedure.