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Paper Recycling Fun Facts!


  • 3 billion of the 4.7 billion magazines delivered to newsstands each year never reach a reader - enough to circle the earth 20 times.
  • More than 35 million trees - equivalent to an area the size of the Rocky Mountain National Park - are logged annually to print 12 billion magazine copies.
  • 90% of magazines are discarded within a year, yet less than 20% are recycled.
  • Recyled paper requires 23% to 74% less energy to produce, and the paper industry is the third largest energy consumer in the U.S.
  • Only 30% of newspapers are recycled in the United States.
  • To produce each week's Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.
  • Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
  • If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
  • During World War II when raw materials were scarce, 33% of all paper was recycled. After the war, this number decreased sharply.
  • If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you'd get about 700 of them. A supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket goes through 60,500,000 paper bags! Imagine how many supermarkets there are in the U.S.!!!
  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
  • Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
  • In 1993, U.S. paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • 27% of the newspapers produced in America are recycled.
  • Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
  • The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.

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