Getting a handle on natural resources

New and recycled fibers

Strength - A brown bag left outside begins to disintegrate. That's because it's made from wood fibers that nature designed to decompose. Repeated recycling of wood fibers also causes them to degrade over time. In fact, a recent study found that without any virgin fiber added, only 2% of original fibers survived the 5th round of recycling. Because wood fibers are a renewable natural resource, they are, by nature, not infinitely recyclable.

Supply - Even though more than 85% of all U.S. paper is recycled, that's still not enough fiber to meet the worldwide demand. There is also an 8-12% process loss in recycling packaging grades, and 10 tons of old paper only yields about 8 tons of reusable pulp. The research study concluded that the pulp and paper industry would run out of recycled fibers in only 2-6 months if fresh virgin fibers were not added into the overall supply.

Sustainability - By responsibly using virgin fibers from well-managed sources, we are actually protecting the health and well being of the ecologically valuable U.S. private forestlands that supply more than 90% of all U.S. wood harvested. In essence, that means that we're protecting our water supply and helping to mitigate the effects of climate change by keeping forests intact to store carbon and help clean the air.

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