Thought-Provoking Facts on Paper, Forests and Recycling

1. Forest area in the U.S. increased by 5,800 NFL football fields per day between 2007 and 2012.[1]

2. The volume of wood (trees!) on U.S. timberland increased by the equivalent of 159 Empire State Buildings per year between 2007 and 2012.[2]

3. In 2015, the U.S. recovered enough paper (for recycling) to fill 125 Empire State Buildings.[3]

4. From 2005 to 2015, U.S. forests stored the equivalent in carbon to taking 137 million cars off the road each year.[4]





























[1] Forest area grew by 14 million acres between 2007 (752 million acres) and 2012 (766 million acres) (USDA Forest Service, 2014). A full football field including the end zones is 360 ft by 160 ft or 1.32 acres ( Forest area grew by 10.6 million football fields (14 million acres of forest area/1.32 acres in a field) in five years = 2.1 million per year = 5,811 football field per day.

[2] Net volume growing stock on timberland in the U.S. grew from 942,949 to 972,397 million ft3 between 2007 and 2012 (USDA Forest Service, 2014) – an increase of 29,448 million ft3 = 5,890 million ft3 per year = 16 million ft3 per day. The volume of the Empire State Building is 37 million ft3 ( )

[3] Recycling one ton of paper saves 3.3 cubic yards (89.1 cubic feet) of landfill space (—paper.pdf ). Empire State Building = 37 million ft3 (its space saves 415,264 tons of paper). Paper recovery data was obtained from .

[4] A conventional gas vehicle in the U.S. emits 2,720 lbs of carbon (10,000 lbs of CO2 eq. per year) ( ). There are 2204.62 lbs/metric tonne therefore an average car emits 1.23 metric tonne of carbon/y. Between 2005 and 2015, carbon stock in the forest rose from 87,271 to 88,961 million MT of carbon – an increase of 1,690 million MT over 10 years or 169 million MT/y (equivalent to 137 million cars) ( – Table 6-12)

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Myths and Facts: When it Comes to Paper, Some People Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

Paper has been around for more than 2000 years, and for good reason. It’s a highly effective and versatile means of communication. Even in today’s digital age with the vast array of alternative media to choose from, paper’s unique aesthetic qualifies and practical appeal are unmatched.

Paper is highly sustainable, too. But as attention to the environment has increased in recent years, so have myths and misconceptions that the paper industry is responsible for large-scale deforestation and adverse impacts on the environment. As always, there are two sides to every debate, and paper has a great environmental story to tell.

Two Sides presents the facts about paper production, use and recycling to dispel the myths, promote well-informed, confident media buying decisions and encourage greater responsibility throughout the life of paper products.

To get the facts about the sustainability of Print and Paper click below:

MYTH: Making paper consumers a lot of energy.

FACT: Paper production supports sustainable forest management.

MYTH: Making paper is bad for the environment.

FACT: Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products.

MYTH: Electronic information is more environmentally friendly than print and paper.

FACT: Not necessarily. E-media also has environmental impacts.


For this article and other paper-truths visit