5 Kinds Of Treeless Paper

02/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Do you have any idea how much paper we still waste every year in the US, despite the fact that we're in the midst of this so-called digital revolution? It's a lot--it still makes up for a third (32.7 %, as of 2007) of our entire municipal waste, which is 254 million tons, according to the EPA. Half the trees felled in the US every year are used for paper, and an estimated 30-40 percent of our landfills are filled with paper waste.

But it gets worse--for every tree cut down, only half can be turned into wood pulp, the substance used to make paper. It's a horribly inefficient process, and forests worldwide are shrinking all the faster because of it. And yet, there are some intriguing alternatives to wood-based paper cropping up in that are worth keeping an eye on.


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