THE PAPER INDUSTRY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Written by EnvoPAP team
1st October 2020
3 minute read
From using hemp, rags and grass along with stone to make paper to the mechanized industrial process of making paper from pulp, we have come a long way from using paper judiciously to now using it mindlessly. Paper has become an inseparable part of our daily activities and knowingly or not, we use it in the most menial of tasks. Each year, more than 2 billion books, 350 million magazines, and 24 billion newspapers are published, and yet we remain unaware of the environmental and social costs of these industries that make them.
For the longest time, we’ve depended on trees as a material source for paper. It is with no wonder that the paper industry continues to be one of the leading causes of deforestation. With that comes a rapid decline in biodiversity (Read our blog here on the importance of biodiversity!), with several species being driven to extinction by habitat loss and land clearing activities like burning, logging and clearances. It doesn’t end there. Illegal logging is also another issue. Indonesia, being one of the biggest suppliers, has an estimated 76-80% of its wood through illegal logging. That, because of this, lush tropical rainforests are replaced by pulp plantations, disrupting the natural ecosystem!
On a social level, indigenous communities face the brunt of this situation as their livelihoods are snatched off, lands uprooted and hampered. Land grabbing, human rights violations are some of the issues of the locals in these regions. Many argue that logging creates employment and a source of livelihood for locals but forget the negative environmental costs and its effect on the lives of local people and fauna. Indeed, deforestation not only causes ecological losses but also has a profound impact on specific communities.
TLDR: The process of making paper is damaging to the environment from beginning to end. In spite of this, there remains a lack of awareness of the unsustainable practices that occurs in the paper industry. With that, the paper demand is only expected to increase by 2050, faster than any other wood product and consumption is expected to double if not more.
So what are we doing about it?
That is a FANTASTIC question. Well, for starters, we don’t cut down any trees in making our paper or packaging products. We use agricultural waste that would otherwise be burned in the farms in Pune, India. Not just that, but we are committed to the SDG Goals of No Poverty and Decent Work and Economic Growth, so we make sure that we are paying our workers well, whether that be in the office or in the factories. At envoPAP, our actions are conscious of our environmental or societal impacts. We are also constantly reviewing our systems to ensure that we are using less energy, less water, creating less pollution. (Check out our certifications on our Company website here.)
The envoPAP team has decided to undertake the challenge of revolutionizing the paper and packaging industry to ensure that we are all using more sustainable methods. We’ve only just started with reaching out to businesses, but we are also trying to empower individual homes, offices etc. Through that we are raising awareness of individual responsibility towards our environment and our world. This is a journey that we must all take together! Join us at envoPAP!