Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good news: Americans are using less paper and recovering more!

"Each year, we are using less paper - and recovering more of what we use." This is definitely good news and it comes from a new report, 'State of the Green Business 2009' published by Greener World Media, Inc. (www.greenbiz.com).

The data reported on this excellent and detailed report shows that paper intensity, which means the amount of paper used (in thousands of tons) per billion dollars of gross domestic product, has decreased from 8.9 in 2006 to 8.4 in 2007. This is the largest decrease since 2001, when the paper intensity decreased by 0.7.

When you look ten years back, you see a greater change. In 1997, 11,400 tons of paper were used for every 1 billion GDP generated. In 2007, this figure dropped in 27% to 8,400.

Meanwhile, the report shows, the recycling rates for paper have grown from 44 to 56 percent. The data does not include 2008 figures, so we can't really learn on the impacts of the fall in the price of recycled paper, which is one of the consequences of the current economic downturn.

Since reduction in paper consumption equals budget savings, I hope that at least one good result out of this economic environment will be that more businesses and individuals will look for ways to save in paper and we'll see even a greater drop in the indicator of paper intensity on the next report next year.

The report can be downloaded for free at www.stateofgreenbusiness.com (the paper intensity info is on page 54).

Raz @ Eco-Libris