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Two decades ago, when PC and internet joined hands, many thought that these machines will render paper useless. But today, more than ever, paper remains the dominant and essential vehicle of modern communications. The world’s paper renaissance extends to both new and traditional uses. Inexpensive computer printers, for example, have encouraged home paper use. Likewise, offices also continue to rely on paper for files and records; just 10 percent of office documentation is in digital form. Paper continues to dominate the publishing industry with Electronic publications accounting for just 5-15 percent of the world’s publishing market. Even with internet providing all the latest news instantly, the worldwide demand for newsprint is expected to grow for years to come. In addition to traditional print products, new markets for mail order catalogues; marketing and promotional materials are also keeping paper consumption floating. In the United States, the number of pieces of mail delivered each year has increased by 25 billion over the last 5 years to 210 billion. Unlike consumption trends in other mature commodity sectors, paper consumption shows little sign of

Technological alternative to paper is on the anvil. Till then it makes sense to use paper wisely.

dissociation from economic growth. Per capita paper consumption has grown to about 190 kg per year in Western Europe and more than 300 kg in North America. In the industrialized countries, concern has focused on the ever-increasing volumes of wastepaper being created. In the United States, paper accounts for nearly 40 percent of municipal solid waste. Disposal of paper products in landfill sites leads to emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, and incinerating chlorine-bleached paper at landfills may release dioxins into the atmosphere. These problems, together with the perception of wasteful paper use and excessive packaging, have led to numerous government, private-sector, and voluntary initiatives to increase recycling rates. The United States, Japan, and Western Europe all have paper recovery rates close to or in excess of 50 percent now. Despite the efforts by various government and non-government organizations, the world consumption of paper has grown a staggering 400 percent in the last 40 years. Now nearly 4 billion trees or 35 percent of the total trees cut around the world are used in paper industries on every continent. Technology couldn’t replace paper in communication regardless of many advantages it held. Paper isn’t going anywhere. Hence it is vital to recycle, conserve and reduce the dependence on paper so as to prevent the additional strain on already limited resources.

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