Why use wood at all?
Why can't we make all the paper we need by recycling?
We do recycle a lot of paper. In fact, about 45 percent of the paper used in the U.S.
and Canada is recycled back into new
paper and paperboard products. However, the world’s demand for paper is simply too great to rely on recovered paper as the industry’s only
fiber source. Wood and other materials must be used to supply the remaining fiber.
Wood fibers can only be recycled five to seven times before they become too short and “worn out” to be made into
paper again. New wood fiber is needed to replace the unusable recycled fiber that washes
out of the pulp during the recycling process.
Of course, we could never recycle 100 percent of the paper we use. Much of it is soiled with food or
other contaminants. And a lot of paper is stored permanently in the form of books and documents.