On average, paper can be recycled 8 to 12 times*. It is used to make more paper or cardboard saving trees, water, and energy and decreasing pollution with each cycle…
  • the recycled paper, made from wastepaper instead of wood pulp, has been widely used in industrial countries, with the recycling rate of wastepaper in such countries over 60% in 2000;

  • the United States and Japan all have paper recovery rates close to or in excess of 50%. The FAO predicts further growth in waste paper and paperboard recovery;

  • to make a comparison with China, the rate in Beijing was just few years ago less than 10%, or only some 100,000 tons every year per 1.1 million tons of wastepaper. In 2000, the country began to carry out related policies to encourage the use of recycled paper: in an effort to promote a more sustainable consumption of paper products Beijing's government offices, for example, have opted for recycled paper instead of regular paper;

  • in 2003, Western Europe recycled 53.9% of the consumed paper, the rest going to landfill or incineration. In landfill the paper decomposes to release methane, and burning it produces CO2 emissions.
Manufacturing a tonne of recycled office paper and recycling it at the end of its lifespan reduces**:

savings by %
solid waste 49
energy consumption 43
net greenhouse gas emissions 70
hazardous air pollutant emissions 90
particulate emissions
absorbable organic
halogen emissions to water 100
suspended solids 30

* Eco-emballages.

** Environmental Defense Fund.