There is much misunderstanding about the impact of paper and, by implication, direct mail to the environment. Here are some facts to consider before rushing to the conclusion that print on paper contributes significantly to the destruction of forests.
- Trees from tropical forests are not specifically harvested for paper. Of all the trees cut from the world’s forests, 53 percent is used for fuel, 28 percent is used for lumber, and 11 percent is used directly by the paper industry.
- Of the 11 percent for paper, 33 percent comes from wood chips and scrap from sawmills, and 33 percent comes from recycled paper.
- 65.1 percent of the paper consumed in the United States in 2012 was recovered for recycling.
- Of the paper consumed in the United States, about 90 percent is produced here.
- 91 percent of the trees consumed in the United States to make paper come from privately owned forests, which give private landowners a financial incentive to grow trees rather than sell off their land for other uses.
- Private landowners in the United States plant about 4 million trees every day, as a result, forest growth exceeds harvest by 37 percent.
- From sustainable forests to the renewable nature of trees and recyclability of paper, the paper and printing industries have a positive environmental story to tell—one in which direct mail and healthy forests go hand-in-hand.