Paper and packaging are essential components of modern life. Communication, food, and consumer products are just a few of the things that are improved upon and more easily accessible as a result of paper and packaging.
And though we might consider most paper products essentially the same, paper has thousands of applications, and how different paper types are manufactured has everything to do with how its ultimate purpose. For example, a coffee cup needs to have distinct performance attributes compared to a newspaper. So what does environmental performance have to do with the function of a paper product? A few items explained further in this section include:
- Recyclability: The combination of materials in a paper product is an important factor on its ultimate recyclability. Paper products need to be designed with this in mind.
- Efficient use of resources: Different paper products use fiber types more or less efficiently than others. How products use recovered fiber and fresh fiber is an important environmental consideration.
- Best use of a limited resource: Recovered fiber isn’t an infinite resource. It is crucial that we return as much of it as we can back to the paper life cycle and use it in products as efficiently as possible.