EHS Alert - Paper


Paper is a thin material produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood or grasses and drying them into flexible sheets. Paper is a versatile material with many use, the most common is for writing and printing.

Impact of paper in environment:

Few people think about the effects these objects have on the environment, but paper has a significant impact on the planet’s health and future.

The production and use of paper has a number of adverse effects on the environment which are known collectively as paper pollution. Pulp mills contribute to air, water and land pollution.

Worldwide, the pulp and paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy, accounting for four percent of the entire world's energy use. The pulp and paper industry uses more water to produce a ton of product than any other industry. Deforestation and Water pollution were the major issues associated with paper.


Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the past 40 years. 35 percent of the harvested trees ecome paper. Cutting down forests to produce paper not only eliminates vital ecosystems, it also contributes to global warming. Half of the world’s carbon, a greenhouse gas, is stored in forests. When the forests are cut down, the carbon is released into the atmosphere where it contributes to climate change. The paper industry is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

Water Pollution:

Waste water discharges for a pulp and paper mill contains solids, nutrients and dissolved organic matter such as lignin. It also contains alcohols, and chelating agents and inorganic materials like chlorates and transition metal compounds. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can cause or exacerbate eutrophication of fresh water bodies such as lakes and rivers. Organic matter dissolved in fresh water, measured by Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), changes ecological characteristics, and in worst-case scenarios leads to death of all higher living organisms. Waste water may also be polluted with organochloride compounds.

Tips for reducing office paper waste:

§  Use both sides of the paper

§  Set computer defaults to print double-sided.

Think before you print or copy

§  Preview documents before printing. Use the print preview to spot formatting errors and blank pages before you print. Proofread first, and use the spell/grammar tool to help avoid errors that can cause documents to be reprinted.

§  Print only the pages you need. If only a few pages of the document are needed, print only those pages instead of the whole report. Most software programs provide this option under the print function.

§  Reuse wasted or one-sided paper.

§  Reduce your margin settings so that your printer uses less paper

§  Promote *Please consider the environment before printing this mail* through e-mail while sharing documents with co-workers.

“Save Paper.. Save Trees.. Save the World….”
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