Paper’s Impact On The Planet

Paper production in Australia consumes millions of trees and kilolitres of water each year. It also increases the amount of waste that goes to landfill. The use of trucks, motorbikes and planes for delivering business mail also creates greenhouse emissions, as does the electricity used to power printers, faxes and photocopiers.

Did You Know…

Paper production in Australia consumes millions of trees?

  • An estimated 36 million trees per year are used to make the printing and writing paper that Australia uses every year.¹

Paper waste is a big contributor to Australia’s landfill?

  • If a single tonne of paper is recycled, it could save up to five cubic metres of landfill.2
  • Due to paper printing, 18 million printer cartridges end up in Australia’s landfill every year.3

Paper production has a big effect on greenhouse emissions.

  • One tonne of paper production results in 1.35 tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions excluding methane.4
  • Using this statistic, it’s estimated that the Printing and Writing paper used in Australia every year could generate approximately over 2 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions every year.5

Read some great tips on how to reduce your paper usage.


1 According to ‘Know Your Paper: A guide to purchasing recycled content office paper‘ (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, January 2009), 1 tonne of virgin office paper requires the equivalent of 24 trees
According to ABARE, in 2009-2010 Australia used 1.518 million tonnes of printing and writing paper
2 Michigan DEQ
3 Planet Ark
4 According to ‘Australian Paper Industry Statistics‘ (A3P, 2005 – 2006)
5 According to ABARE, in 2009-2010 Australian total printing and writing paper consumption is 1.518 million tonnes

Related Articles