Sunday, October 04, 2015

Why would anyone buy recycled paper?

Thanks to John Lott for the picture and idea.

Here is a picture that Nikki Goeser took earlier today from a Staples store in the Nashville area.

There is a huge difference in price, so why would anyone want to buy recycled copy paper?  One answer you may hear is that it saves trees.  However, that is doubtful.  Furthermore, there are other adverse effects that those who want to save trees may not like.  Consider the following, for example.

  • If people use enough paper products from trees, the only way to get enough trees is to raise trees.  The result will be more trees than there would be if people did not use paper products or used recycled paper products.

Why do you think there are so many chickens, so much corn, for example?

  • Recycling paper adds pollution and increases global warming.  Raising trees decreases pollution and decreases global warming.

Raising trees uses mostly clean energy, e.g., sunlight through photosynthesis that decreases pollution and decreases global warming (photosynthesis removes carbon dioxide from and adds oxygen to the atmosphere).  Recycling paper uses mostly “dirty” fuels that add substances to the atmosphere, e.g., carbon dioxide, that increase pollution and increase global warming.

  • Recycling requires additional “dirty” energy to segregate and gather the used paper, including the use of petroleum based fuels, and additional methane produced by humans due to the energy they use to perform various recycling tasks.

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