So much for the paperless house!

You\’ve heard of the paperless office. What about the paperless house? Not going to happen, at least, not anytime soon.

The weight of paper entering our homes these days is only slightly less than it was 10 years ago. But the types of paper products we use are definitely changing. As we embrace the digital world, we read far fewer newspapers and magazines. Glossy retail catalogues have been replaced by online alternatives, and those heavy paper telephone books have pretty much disappeared for good.

Making up the difference, however, has been a steady increase in the use of paper packaging or what is commonly called  cardboard. What we are talking about here are the sturdy corrugated boxes used to deliver the new TV or kitchen appliance. You’ll probably find one or two in your basement or garage holding something they never came with. Eventually, you’ll put them out for recycling. Likewise your boxboard cartons (cereal and tissue boxes). The other changes you may have noted are fewer steel cans and glass bottles. These have both suffered from competition from plastics packaging which has grown substantially over the decade.

Fortunately, most of the paper products entering your home are high in recycled content and being recycled right across Canada. But that good  story deserves a blog all of its own.

What’s in Ontario Households (by weight)

Paperlessbyweight e1426096447775

 Source: Stewardship Ontario data 2003, 2013.

John Mullinder

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

1 thought on “So much for the paperless house!”

  1. Jerry S. (for Scott) Mills

    No harm, no foul, as Alex Trebek so often says.
    And now for Something Completely Different …

    Earlier today while reading a hip glossy magazine CINEPLEX (that came gratis with the GLOBE, hence its presence here)…
    I was taken by this reassurance in the EDITOR’S NOTE:

    …you can (now) flip through the pages knowing that we are using paper that is Ancient Forest Friendly, meaning no fiber is taken from ancient or endangered forests. Instead, all inside pages (the cover being slick glossy stock) is made from recycled waste paper. While we’ve been using recycled paper for years, this new paper takes it up a notch.

    “Ancient Forest Friendly” …hmmm… has a nice (annular) ring to it, I thought …as does “takes it up a notch.”
    I suspect the nifty tree wood double-entendre there was inadvertent (-;

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