All existing industry and non-industry enterprices directly of indirectly consume natural resurces. One shall examine the paper sustainability issue not only from one aspect, but in many though. First of all we must devide the paper sustainability to two main streams:
- Paper production sustainability
- Paper consumption sustainability.
Paper production sustainability. The production of paper makes two main influences on the environment: lumber consumption as a raw material and energy use for processing. Therewith the chemicals are also used, however its’ proportion it not significant and the impact on the environment is not high. The energy sources are commonly used in this area, such as electric power, gas, coil, biomass or combined. The water is also used, it is recycable so there’s no impact on environment. The electric power s used to supply electric units, engines, cranes and othe equipment. The energy sources are used for pulp thermal treatment, paper drying and preparing of additives to the stock.
The matter of sustainable and saving enegy use lays in the choise of the proper energy source. Using the gas is reliable in means of the exhaust chemicals emission, but the unstable and high price gives a chance to cheaper alternative, like the coil. However it is more damaging to the environment, causing pilution of the air and the area of its’ warehousing. There is also a need in additional warehousing area and filters to provide cleaner exhaust. Nevertheless, coals’ price can compensate the investment. And the last but not least option – the biomass, which may appear the cheapest way, but its’ availability in the near area is an issue of priority. For instance, if the mill is located in the area of steppes, where the lumber or branches are rarely found and it’s available from far distance source, when it is not benefitial to transport. Anyway, it can be wooden waste (packaging, furniture, building material etc.), which will serve as a fuel, being much cheaper to get. In order to safe more losses of heat, one uses diffetrent technologies of economising, fuel consumption control and so on.
The wood pulp is produced mostly in the Scandinavian countries, Canada, South America. In technologicaly developed countries like Finland and Canada, the renewable forestry source is widely used. In that case there are special areas of timber of industrial purpose, away from natural forests, which are secured by the law.
Paper consumption sustainability. Two boxes of an A4 print paper, containing 5000 sheets, are made of one tree. In an average ukrainian office with 40-60 employees, 1-2 packs of a paper are consumed per day. Accordingly during a work month one office consumes 20-40 packs, which is 2-4 boxes, which is 1-2 trees. And if we take the post soviet way of working process management, which requires lots of paperwork, this number can increase twise depending on the labor specifisity. One of the most efficient way of redusing paper consumption is to swich to computer documentation and correspondance. That is the way all the civilized world follows. In IT companies there are no printed reports, presentation or whatever, they use a minimum of paper. Also, one can use old printed on one side papers to print from the other side. This step will reduce paper amount and consumption for 20-30%. Ohter advantages you may see on the picture on the right.
Some other types of paper:
- The packaging paper cannot always be replaced by the polymer material. However using the polyethylene or polypropylene also impacts the environment in means of production and waste;
- The news paper is continuosly being replased by the Internet. Newspaper mills are being closed. That is a fact;
- Tissue paper, especially for bathroom hygiene leaves no space for alternative so far. The kitchen tissue has appeared later then the woven tissue and still dominates in numerous households.