Paper Recycling Stats in the U.S.

Given that recycling is ethical, economical, and beneficial, have you ever wondered about paper use and paper recycling statistics?

Despite the need for it, paper has become a common public enemy in offices all over the U.S. thanks to its overabundance. Even though it can create clutter, paper is a necessary evil in many industries, including healthcare, legal, and finance. Businesses aside, even the average American uses and creates a lot of paper waste.

Exactly how much does the U.S. rely on paper?

  • Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.
  • The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees.
  • 50% of the waste of businesses is composed of paper.
  • U.S offices use approximately 12.1 trillion sheets of paper a year.
  • Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste.

While the statistics seem a bit alarming, there are plenty of ways to mitigate paper waste, most notably through paper recycling.

Why recycle?

  • Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water.
  • Office paper can be recycled into paper towels, tissue paper and toilet paper.
  • Recycled paper, paperboard, and deinked market pulp mills employ nearly 140,000 people directly and influence another 615,000 jobs, for a total of nearly 755,000 jobs nationwide.
  • Producing recycled paper requires less energy than producing paper from trees.

At Legal Shred, we recycle all shredded documents not only for peace of mind, but for the good of the environment. When we work with businesses looking to shred their office paper, this can be recycled into many products, including toilet paper and paper towels.

With the ever-increasing threat of identity theft, shredding documents with sensitive and confidential personal or business information is a sensible and prudent step for every organization to take. Turning it into another usable product is one of many additional benefits to document destruction.

Paper is one of the most used materials in circulation. By relying on a professional and secure document destruction company like Legal Shred, your paper waste is rendered unusable, therefore more safe and secure for you and better for our planet.

Paper Recycling

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