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China’s paper recycling – doing well and doing (some) good

CHINA WATCH Paper is an industry that has surged in China of late — and recycled paper in particular. The industry has already produced China’s richest woman, the owner of Nine Dragons Paper, according to the Economist.

Accordingly, its impact is being noticed globally. A new report from the Washington-based Forest Trends shows China as a major consumer of waste paper, for example, which alleviates pressure elsewhere. As this piece explains:

Brian Stafford, the lead author of the report and an industry consultant, said China is by far the world’s biggest consumer of wastepaper and that in the last four years alone, it has prevented 71.6 million tons of wastepaper from heading to landfills in the U.S., Japan, and Europe.

Just last year, China’s use of wastepaper instead of trees to make paper products probably saved 59.5 million tons of wood from being harvested for pulp.

But it’s not all good news. Concerns remain about the logging of virgin forests in China–and the sheer surge in demand for paper, on the back of its booming economy, which is believed to be boosting forest destruction in Indonesia and elsewhere.

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