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What Are the Benefits of Paper Recycling?

What Are the Benefits of Paper Recycling?

Paper recycling has been around for a long time. Actually, when you think about it, the paper has been a recycled product from the very beginning. For the first 1,800 years or so that paper existed, it was always made from discarded materials.

What are the most significant benefits of paper recycling?

Recycling paper conserves natural resources, saves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and keeps landfill space free for other types of trash that can't be recycled.

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Recycling one ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 4,000 kilowatts of energy — enough to power the average U.S. home for six months — and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent (MTCE).

How Much Paper Is Recycled Every Year?

In 2018, 68.2 percent of the paper used in the United States was recovered for recycling, for a total of 99 million tons.

 That's a 127 percent increase in the recovery rate since 1990, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Approximately 80 percent of U.S. paper mills use some recovered paper fiber to produce new paper and paperboard products. 

How Many Times Can The Same Paper Be Recycled?

Paper recycling does have limits. Every time paper is recycled, the fiber becomes shorter and weaker. In general, paper can be recycled up to six times before it must be discarded.