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Quality Whiteboard Paint Reduces the Need for Polluting Paper

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Quality Whiteboard Paint Reduces the Need for Polluting Paper
Quality Whiteboard Paint Reduces the Need for Polluting Paper

One of the most significant environmental benefits of implementing the use of non-epoxy whiteboard painted walls is the fact that they help to reduce the use of paper in business, education, and other fields. The amount of paper being produced worldwide is increasing and recently exceeded 400 million tons per year. The manufacture and use of paper have a profoundly negative ecological impact that can be summarized as follows.

Forest Destruction

Over the past four decades, global paper consumption has risen by 400%, and the wood used to produce it often comes from illegal sources or from poorly managed or even virgin forests, so the effect of paper use on the world’s woodlands is devastating. Globally, deforestation has become a major problem in both developed and developing countries, and pulp and paper manufacturing play a significant role in this crisis, with approximately 14% of the annual wood harvest being used to produce paper. This amounts to the destruction of around 4.1 million hectares of forest each year to satisfy the world’s desire for paper – an area the size of the Netherlands every 365 days.

This devastation of our planet’s precious trees to make pulp and paper creates both temporary and long-term environmental disturbances in the world’s forest habitats. The majority of Earth’s biodiversity (its vast array of insects, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, plants, and trees) lives in and depends on forest environments. This is where life forms have largely evolved over hundreds of thousands of years, and deforestation can decimate vast sections of this incredible biological richness in a matter of minutes.

Energy Use

Pulp and paper production requires vast amounts of energy. In fact, the pulp and paper industry is the fifth-largest global consumer of energy, accounting for approximately six percent of total use. To make paper takes twice the energy required to make plastic bags, and though they share of total power utilized by the pulp/paper industry has declined since 2000, the sector continues to be among the top commercial consumers of energy, much of which comes from coal-fired generators that are highly polluting contributors to global warming.

According to the Canadian government agency Statistics Canada, in 2014, the pulp and paper industry accounted for 24% of the total energy consumed by all manufacturing operations in the country. So, with such a high, continuous demand for heat as well as power, many pulp and paper producers are adopting energy-saving systems such as heat recovery and cogeneration, or the generation of electricity and another form of energy like heat at the same time. Although these efforts are made with the good intention of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution, a much more straightforward and more economical alternative approach is implementing the use of ReMARKable whiteboard painted walls to avoid using paper products flip charts, and paper handouts altogether.

Water Use

Pulp and paper manufacturing uses more water to generate a volume of products than any other industry in the world; in the US alone, it’s among the largest users of water in the entire industrial economy. On average, 54 m3 of water is needed to make one metric ton of pulp or paper, and almost all stages of production involve water. Specifically, water is used:
To transport the ingredients of paper in paper machines.
To cook wood chips to produce pulp.
As a medium for heat transfer.
To wash the wood to make the pulp.
To wash the pulp itself.
To wash the pulp-handling machines.
To bleach the pulp, the most water-intensive part of the process.
All of this water usage during each stage of papermaking means that it takes more than three gallons of water to make a single 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper. Thus, a 500-page notebook requires approximately 1,500 gallons of water to manufacture. Moreover, pulp and paper mills create large amounts of wastewater and sludge, causing severe environmental challenges with regard to treatment and disposal.

Contributions to Global Warming and Climate Change

Pulp and paper manufacturing generates nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and carbon dioxide, among other environmentally damaging compounds. Nitrogen and sulfur dioxides are key contributors to acid rain, while carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas intensifying the effects of climate change. Also, when paper is disposed of in dumpsites, it eventually breaks down, producing methane, a potent polluter with a global warming potential (GWP) approximately 28–36 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. In other words, the gas is 28-36 times more effective at trapping infrared radiation in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, making it one of the most damaging of all greenhouse gases. And, as mentioned, the pulp/paper industry consumes vast amounts of energy from coal-fired generators that also add significantly to global warming and climate change.

Pollution

The pulp and paper industry is the third-largest commercial polluter of our planet’s air, water, and soil. Large quantities of extremely toxic chemical contaminants such as hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and sulfur dioxide are used to make pulp and paper. These chemicals, known as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), eventually end up in waste-water streams, soil, and agricultural crops so that people who work in or live near paper mills often suffer from health problems such as obstructed airways, hypersensitivity conditions, and cardiovascular disease. The pulp-making process alone involves a complex series of chemical reactions that produce numerous hazardous HAPs. For this reason, pulp mills in the United States are required to maintain pollution control systems. However, these systems may not always function as intended, so actual emissions exceed legally established limits.

Also, the disposal of paper in landfills and the subsequent production of the potent greenhouse gas methane through decomposition add greatly to the polluting effects of paper products. As mentioned, methane gas is 28–36 times more toxic to the atmosphere than CO2. And even if paper is not recklessly disposed of in landfills and is recycled instead, the de-inking procedure used during paper recycling is also a source of pollution in the form of chemicals released in the effluent.

Waste Production

Paper generates two main types of waste: that derived from its manufacture and that coming from its disposal after use. The solid wastes that come from paper making include sludge generated from wastewater treatment.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 27% (or 67 million tons) of the solid municipal waste that enters landfills, and 50% of the waste generated by businesses consists of discarded paper and paperboard. Moreover, paper waste, like many other forms of trash, poses the additional environmental hazard of toxic inks, dyes, and polymers that can potentially be carcinogenic when incinerated or commingled with groundwater through traditional disposal methods such as landfills.

A decline in the use of paper was predicted at the beginning of the electronic revolution, but unfortunately, the decrease failed to materialize. Instead, the global demand for paper is expected to double before the year 2030, and a large proportion of this paper will end up in landfills. In 2012, for example, the US threw out over 24,000,000 tons of paper, which, as mentioned, is a high water- and energy-intensive material to make. If that paper had been recycled, each pound, the amount found in a typical daily newspaper, would have saved 3.5 gallons of water, totaling 168,000,000,000 gallons of water saved.

But paper recycling can mitigate the impact of paper waste only so much and doesn’t diminish the ecological and economic effects of the energy consumed in making, transporting, and burying, and/or reprocessing paper. By contrast, implementing the use of ReMARKable whiteboard painted walls to replace paper products in offices and classrooms totally negates the many dangers and costs associated with their use and helps to ensure a sustainable planetary ecosystem for ourselves and for future generations.

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Quality Whiteboard Paint Reduces the Need for Polluting Paper
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Quality Whiteboard Paint Reduces the Need for Polluting Paper
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Learn how quality whiteboard paint reduces the need for polluting paper. Brought to you by ReMARKable Whiteboard Paint.
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ReMARKable Whiteboard Paint
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Home / News / Quality Whiteboard Paint Reduces the Need for Polluting Paper

Posted: January 17, 2022

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