Is paper is one of the most environmentally sustainable products?

The paper being produced today is said to be superior and customized to meet the specific demands of retail and institutional customers. Image courtesy: IANS

New Delhi: This World Environment Day, the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) has stated the argument that the use of paper implies cutting of forests and hence harming the environment is devoid of any basis.

"The wood for manufacturing paper comes from cultivated trees grown by farmers and not by cutting forests. The Paper Industry has joined forces with farmers to grow more and more trees under the programme called agro or farm forestry. Moreover, paper industry is wood positive i.e. it grows more trees than it harvests," Rohit Pandit, Secretary General, IPMA has said.

"Paper is one of the most environmentally sustainable products. Paper is biodegradable, recyclable and is produced from sources which are renewable and sustainable. Use of paper in education, packaging, e-commerce and sanitation is much more environment-friendly than available alternatives, and needs to be promoted vigorously," it said.

Growing and harvesting trees for making paper is providing jobs for lakhs of farmers in rural areas. About 5 lakh farmers are productively employed in this agro forestry initiative.

Agro forestry by paper industry is enhancing the country's green cover, leading to carbon sequestration and mitigating the harmful effects of climate change. So far over 12 lakh hectares of mainly degraded land has been brought under pulpwood plantation by Paper Industry in the country. Usage of paper is thus good for the environment, Pandit added.

According to IPMA, the complexion of Paper Industry has changed over the years. Today the industry is far more innovative and able to provide a wide variety of products and solutions which find application in e-commerce, FMCG, pharmaceuticals, food packaging etc.

Incorporation of new technologies have ensured that the paper being produced today is superior and customized to meet the specific demands of retail and institutional customers who wish to make an eco-friendly choice.

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