Fun Facts

  • Every day, U.S. papermakers recycle enough paper to fill a 15 mile long train of boxcars. 

  • The first paper merchant in America was Benjamin Franklin, who helped to start 18 paper mills in Virginia and surrounding areas. For hundreds of years, cotton and linen rags were the papermaker's raw materials. 

  • During the American Revolution, paper was so hard to find that soldiers ripped pages from books to use them as wadding for their rifles. 

  • In 2011, 76 percent of paper and paperboard mills used some recovered paper and 113 mills used only recovered paper. 

  • Every ton of paper that is recovered saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. 

  • Recovered paper accounts for more than 37 percent of fiber used to make new paper products in the U.S. 

  • AF&PA member companies use of recovered fiber results in avoided greenhouse gas emissions of more than 18.5 million metric tons of CO2. 

  • Today, the United States has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day celebration more than 40 years ago. 

  • In 2010, 87 percent (268 million) of Americans had access to community curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs. 

  • U.S paper recovery has grown by 76 percent since 1990, when the paper industry established its first recovery goal to advance recycling. 

  • Paper was invented by the Chinese around 105 A.D. and was kept a secret for many years.
     

  • We use kraft paper every day when we ask supermarkets to pack our groceries in brown paper bags. 

  • Paper bags were first measured by how many pounds of sugar they held. 

  • Paper grocery bags come in a variety of paper weights from light (30 lb.) to heavy-duty (70 lb.) and 14 stock sizes, capable of holding 2 to 25 pounds. 

  • In the United States, private, working forests support 2.5 million jobs, $235 billion in annual sales, $87 billion in payroll, $4.4 billion in state income and severance taxes, and $102 billion to the GDP. 

  • One-third of the United States is forested - 751 million acres. Privately-owned forests supply 91 percent of the wood harvested in the U.S. State and tribal forests supply approximately 6 percent and federal forests supply only 2 percent of the wood used by the forest products industry. 

  • More than 56 percent of U.S. forests are privately owned, much of it by family forest owners who manage their lands to provide value to future generations. 

  • Insects and disease threaten 58 million acres of America’s forests. 

  • A single tree can absorb more than 10 pounds of CO2 each year. 

  • In the U.S., forests and forest products store enough carbon each year to offset approximately 10 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions. 

  • Two-thirds of the nation’s drinking water comes from forests. 

  • Twenty percent of timberland in the U.S. is certified to reputable third-party verified systems. All AF&PA members who own forestland conform to a sustainable forest management programs, and those who source wood fiber from the forest comply with the sustainable procurement principles. 

  • For the past 100 years, total forest area has been stable and grew by 2 million acres from 2000 to 2005.