ibá

Myths and facts about the pulp and paper industry

Created: 08 January 2016

In Brazil, 100% of paper production comes from trees planted specifically for that purpose. Trees have an annual harvest and planting cycle, which also contributes to preserve native forests. Yet, the phrase “before printing, think about the environment” is still in vogue and part of many corporate email signatures. The statement causes an impact, creates the illusion of a strong environmental commitment and even gives users a heavy conscience about using paper. What few people know is that paper from planted forests and its consumption do not jeopardize the environment.

Yes, paper does come from trees, however it is not the cause of native forest deforestation, quite on the contrary: planted trees recover areas that were previously degraded by people’s actions and contribute to preserve biodiversity through techniques such as the mosaic planting technique, where trees used for industrial purposes are alternated with native trees, creating ecological corridors.

Even the harvesting process is well planned. Tree waste (bark and leaves) are left at the site to preserve the quality of soil.

Therefore, the planted forests industry strictly works to protect the environment, preserving 0.65 hectares of native forests for each planted hectare for industrial purposes, which is above the limit required by Brazilian regulations. Not to mention the partnerships created to recover habitats such as the Atlantic Coastal Rainforest, involving corporate investments and the participation of small farmers and environmentalists, aiming at recovering 15 million forest hectares by 2050.

Forests that are planted in a sustainable manner by the pulp, paper and wood panels industry remove a significant amount of CO2 from the atmosphere, a gas that remains stored in the by-products of these industries. In 2014 alone, the 7.7 million planted hectares account for the inventory of approximately 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide.

Another advantage of paper use is the fact that it is recyclable, meaning that great part of it comes back to the production cycle after consumption. Brazil is among the largest paper recyclers in the world. In 2014 alone, 4.6 million tons of paper were recycled.

Therefore, companies that use planted trees have become the global benchmark and as they use renewable raw material, the industry does not create a large amount of dangerous waste. In fact, paper is a sustainable product made from certified renewable resources that generate benefits for the environment by mitigating carbon emissions and enabling recycling.