About pulp & paper production and use
Pulp and paper is produced on all continents. The largest producer countries, US, China, Japan and Canada, make up more than half of the world’s paper production which is 400 million tons a year. That is the equivalent in weight of 80 million elephants.
Pulp and paper is primarily made out of wood fibres originating from natural forests or pulpwood plantations. Recycled fibre and other fibre sources such as agricultural residue are also utilized and recycled fibre is becoming more commonly used in pulp and paper making.
Many global pulp and paper companies are moving their production to the South due to lower production costs and proximity to fast growing pulpwood plantations. Hence, responsible pulpwood plantations practices are urgently needed.
ConsumptionPaper is a versatile product with many end uses varying from household papers, graphic and office papers to medical papers.
- 50% of the paper and board produced globally is used for packaging.
- The second largest market for paper is printing and writing.
- 400 million tons/year: Global paper consumption as of 2010. Half of this is consumed by Europeans and North Americans and is thrown away after a short time.
- 500 million tons: Forecasted increase in paper consumption by 2020.
Public benefits of paperPaper has been an integral part of our cultural development and is essential for modern life. Paper helps to increase levels of literacy and democracy worldwide and plays an important role in protecting goods and foodstuffs during transit.
Pulp and paper production often provides well needed jobs in many areas where other employment opportunities are limited.
Paper is made from renewable resources, and responsibly produced and used paper has many advantages over other, non-renewable alternative materials such as plastic. Responsible production also minimizes harmful impacts on the forests, climate, and water.