Recycling paper and saving trees

The world cuts down more than a million trees every year to make paper and paper products.

In the USA, each person uses about 300 kilograms of paper each year. In Europe, the figure is 200 kilograms. In India, each person uses only six kilograms of paper each year.

It takes two tonnes of wood and 200,000 litres of water to make a tonne of paper. About thirty per cent of our rubbish is paper and paper products. It is stupid and wasteful to dump them. Paper on rubbish dumps does not do anybody any good. It decays and produces poisonous gases. It is better to collect waste paper and other paper

A forest in Zimbabwe products and recycle them. Recycled paper produces;

  • 35 per cent less water pollution
  • 74 per cent less air pollution and uses;
  • 48 per cent less energy
  • 58 per cent less water than new paper.

Toilet paper, egg boxes, packing materials, writing paper and paper bags are good examples of possible

300 kg

Paper use around the world per person

USA

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200

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India

Recycling paper recycled paper products. Every tonne of recycled paper conserves fifteen trees.

Some countries are better at recycling than others. It is important for governments to encourage people to do this. Many towns and villages now have 'paper banks' where people dump their paper in a big box. These banks arc often in the same places as bottle banks and can banks. In some countries, the money which recycling companies pay for these materials is given to the town or village. In one village in England, recycled glass, cans and paper paid for a new children's playground.

A lot of recycling goes on in schools. Materials are expensive, and schools never have enough money. Every classroom has a cupboard full of paper, old birthday cards, interesting boxes and old clothes. When my son was nine years old, his school produced Animal Varni by George Orwell. The children made animal heads out of waste paper which they made into papier mâché - a pulp with water and a kind of glue. I think this is my favourite example of paper recycling.

A building brick made of recycled paper

A building brick made of recycled paper

My worst example? A friend gave us a small machine which made wet newspapers into 'bricks'. We wet the newspapers, put them in the machine and dried the bricks. We burned the bricks on the fire. It was a wonderful idea, but the bricks made a lot of smoke and smelled terrible. We gave the machine away and took our old newspapers to the paper bank!

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