Paper Recycling Stats

Paper Recycling StatsUS Conspicuous Consumption

As professional paper shredder, I’m acutely aware of how much we use this precious resource. America uses paper and paperboard products every day — newspapers, magazines, food and shipping containers, office paper, and more — and it really adds up.  In fact, the United States uses nearly 69 million tons of paper products every year, which makes for some surprising paper recycling stats.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 85 percent of all products sold in the US are packed in cardboard; and more than 2 billion books, 350 million magazines, and 24 billion newspapers were published to paper last year alone.

Environmental Benefits of Paper Recycling

Each year more than 115 million trees are consumed to produce paper products, making the paper industry the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases among US industries. Post-consumer paper makes up about 28 percent of landfill trash nationwide. Recycling not only reduces emissions of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane, but it further reduces landfill size, energy use, and water consumption.  Despite innovations in paperless technology, paper continues to make up the largest portion of solid waste. The good news is there are increasingly greater opportunities for companies and individuals to recover and recycle discarded paper.

Paper Recycling Stats: United States

Paper products account for more than half of all collected recyclables in the United States.  In 2012, an incredible 44 million tons were recovered for recycling.  By weight, America recycles more paper than all other materials combined except for steel.  Of the recovered tonnage, 70 percent was recycled newspapers, catalogs, and magazines, and 91 percent was corrugated cardboard.

According to the American Forest & Paper Association, nearly 335 pounds of paper a year is recovered for each person living in the US.  As a result, about 37 percent of raw materials used by paper mills comes from recycled paper. Today, nearly all of the paper products we use contain some recycled fiber. By recycling paper and other items, businesses can make an impact on the environment.

From Shredding To Recycling

When you hire Sergeant Shredder all the materials we shred for you are recycled. That means paper and e-waste. Professional shredding is the only way to 100% guarantee complete destruction of sensitive information. We take it one step further… taking all shredded paper to recycling centers in Southern California.

For those Sergeant Shredder clients who have an all-shred policy at work — where employees can quickly and easily place all paper into secure document bins — they are in essence recycling too. That’s good for protecting confidential (and regulatory controlled) information and it’s good for Southern California’s environment.

Are there any paper recycling stats that surprised you?