For centuries, people have read and learned on paper. It has loyally served man as the ideal vehicle for conveying our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. In recent years, an opponent has risen: computers. The computer brought the world to our fingertips, to the palm of our hands, but is this competitor superior? Should we drop the written and printed empire that had dominated and quenched our thirst for knowledge for so long? Paper has served an ever-changing world well, constantly adapting and morphing into new and improved forms. Even in a world where consumers demand eco-friendly products, paper has adapted. Paper remains important and practical despite a growing demand for their electronic counterparts.
Paper has become one of the most recycled materials in the country. The Environmental Protection Agency reported in 2009 that of the 68.4 Million tons of paper and paperboard generated for the year, 42.5 Million tons were recovered for recycling. The only products with a greater recovery rate were nonferrous metals. These metals are typically extremely harmful to the environment, are usually handled with care, and are generally regulated, making their high recovery rate expected. Paper’s astounding 62.1% paper recovery rate amounts to just more than half of all recovered materials making paper the most recycled product in the country. Even as paper production increases, the recovery rate increased. According to EPA reports done in 1960 compared with those done in 2009, paper production has more than doubled while paper recovery has almost quadrupled. Paper accounted for more than 90% of all materials recycled at the time. Paper has been the most recycled material in the country since the EPA began recording the flow of materials ...
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