Take a second to look around your room. How many things can you point out are made of paper? Paper is much more than an office supply. Paper is used for bags, planners, gift wrap, towels, wrappers, magazines, posters, packaging, labels, money, and so much more.
It has been confirmed that on a global scale, paper mills are producing more than 400 million tons of paper each year. While this production and consumption most courtly contributed to the job industry, it also has severe effects on the environment, deforestation, and the overall well-being of our planet.
In 2015 alone, the global production of paper was approximately 407 million metric tons. How’s that for size? Graphic paper is to blame for one third of that paper production, with more than half of the production being attributable to packaging paper. In 2020, only one year away, global paper consumption is expected to amount to upwards of 500 million tons.
Even in the modern, digital age, over the last 40 years, paper consumption has grown 400 percent. As of today, 35% of trees around the world are used to keep the paper industry booming, putting the current demands of paper at just over 2 pieces of paper per hour, per person, for each person on the earth.
While the large majority of countries are using paper every single day in hundreds of different ways, there are five major culprits for the countries that produce the most paper. Here’s the breakdown:
Paper production in Korea continues to grow each and every day. The nations paper production hovers at just over 11.500 million metric tons of paper a year. However, the nations paper production did in fact drop from 2014, where the country produced over 11.600 million metric tons in a single year.
Sitting at just above 22.600 million metric tons of paper being produced a year, Germany is ranked as one of the leading producers of paper goods, and is best known as the world’s largest exporter of paper and paper goods as a whole.
Paper-making to the Japanese people has played an important part of not only the tradition but also the culture, being that traditional paper making is truly considered an art– as it should be. In Japan, while there has been a slight decline in production similar to Korea due to the technology boom, production still sits just above 26.200 million metric tons being produced a year.
2. United States of America
The paper industry of the United States began in 1730, and seems to be older than the country itself. Taking second place with 72.397 metric tons of paper being produced each year, the United States passes up Japan by a long shot. In the United States alone, recycled paper however accounts for 66.8% of the paper consumed.
In 2004, China was ranked as the second biggest paper-producing country, with just about 50.00 metric tons of paper being produced a year. Now, just about 15 years later, China sits as the number one producer of paper in the nation, producing over 107.000 million metric tons of paper each year.
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