Mostly, we throw used paper in the dustbin and then forget about it. However, did you ever give a thought to send it for recycling? With energy needs increasing at an alarming rate, saving paper and hence trees can have immense advantages for safeguarding our environment. The benefits of recycling paper are not restricted to saving trees. Instead, there are several other positives that extend to every aspect of our daily life.
It has been said that using recycled paper reduces the number of trees that are cut down. One of the most important merits is that the process saves forests from being cut down. You are ensuring that the overall demand for wood is reduced. Also, one ensures that recycling reduces the pressure on forest management, that is to maintain the supply of wood. Indirectly, it helps in reducing risks of deforestation.
Moreover, if recycled paper is used, ecologically sensitive areas like wet lands, etc., can be used for tree plantations. Such areas needn't be harvested by the industries as by using recycled paper, the demand for wood decrease significantly. When viewed holistically, it helps in the preservation of wildlife habitat and biodiversity. The lesser dependent the commercial forestry industry is on wood, better it is for the environment.
If you're wondering how this process helps to reduce pollution, then here is the answer. Generally, when recycled paper is manufactured, several bleaching processes are canceled out. This means that the process is more efficient, and hence causes less air pollution. This consequently leads to less requirement of water and chemical uses. It also leads to less release of pollutants like wastes in the air and water after manufacture.
There are numerous ways this helps our environment. It helps in lesser solid waste disposal. The quantity of waste disposed in incinerators and landfills is significantly lower. By not contributing to landfills, it avoids the release of several gaseous products like methane and various other pollutants in the air. It has to be understood that when paper is thrown away, nearly 20% of it is sent to incinerators and then the 80% goes to landfills. In the landfills, when huge amount of paper collects, they decompose to release methane. Methane, as we all know, is one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases. Eliminating the threat of its release helps in curbing air pollution.
Some economic advantages include cost-effective and inexpensive recycled paper. Besides that, it promotes commercial efficiency. A firm that wastes resources is bound to lag in the competitive market when it comes to economy. With the possibility of the world facing major shortages of several resources, this is something that we all can start at an individual level. This will help us to contribute our bit in the mission to save Mother Earth from possible threats of global warming. This may sound a large consequence, but indirectly all environmental issues are linked and improvement in one leads to betterment of the other.
While viewing benefits of recycling paper, our approach should be holistic and it must not just be limited to saving trees. While there are various positive and negative effects of recycling, the benefits outweigh the negatives and have long term effects on the economy and environment.