PaperAge Magazine

How America Saves Trees -- With Paper

Unlikely Product Is a Key Tool in Effort to Preserve and Maintain Forest Land for Future Generations

U.S. Forest "Using wood-based products like office paper actually gives American landowners incentive to sustainably manage their forests." – Kate McGlynn, Product Environmental Steward for Boise Paper.

April 18, 2016 - It's a common assumption: if paper comes from trees, then using paper must be bad for forests, right? Wrong. American-manufactured paper actually benefits our nation's forestland and is a driving force in maintaining it for future generations.

"It may seem counterintuitive, but the responsible production and use of paper is sustainable and helps keep forest land in the U.S. as forests," said Kate McGlynn, Product Environmental Steward for Boise Paper. "Using wood-based products like office paper actually gives American landowners incentive to sustainably manage their forests."

If you're striving to "go green" this Earth Day, here's some good news: your office paper is green, as long as it comes from a responsible producer. Here are a handful of ways that paper use and production can support a healthy, forested landscape for future generations.

Supporting Sustainable Forest Management - About 90 percent of the wood harvested in the United States, for products like paper and lumber, is from trees grown on private forestland -- land used to generate income for families and businesses. By providing a dependable market for responsibly grown trees, manufacturers like Boise Paper encourage landowners to manage their forestland, rather than sell it for development or agriculture. In fact, the net total of U.S. forest area has actually increased since the government started the Forest Census in the 1950s, with millions more acres of forest today than we had a generation ago.

Taking Advantage of a Truly Sustainable Product - Paper is a unique material, derived from a renewable natural resource and also recyclable. Over the past few decades, recycling efforts in offices, schools and homes have been extremely successful, and today, the majority of paper products in the U.S. get recycled. Recycling paper products allows wood fibers to be used again and again. And, critically, it keeps paper products out of landfills. It is a misperception that using recycled paper saves trees. It is actually this redirecting of waste from landfills that makes using recycled paper good for the environment. Paper with recycled content provides a market for the avoided waste.

Encouraging Strong Ecosystems - The role of foresters today is to nurture a natural process. U.S. foresters follow sound scientific principles, as well as national, state and local requirements, to grow forests in a healthy way. The goal is to preserve the ecosystem and encourage continual growth. The real threats to U.S. forests include forest fires, degradation and poor management — all of which a healthy forestry industry can help prevent.

"We've come a long way since the destructive logging practices of the past," McGlynn said. "Today, responsible forestry practices in the United States support our natural ecosystems and resiliency. By using wood-based products when we need them and choosing paper that is responsibly sourced, each of us can help sustain the future and health of our forests."

Boise Paper is a division of Packaging Corporation of America. Boise Paper manufactures a full line of quality papers including imaging papers for the office and home, printing and converting papers, and papers used in packaging, such as label and release papers. To learn more, please visit:

SOURCE: Boise Paper