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Why Are Paper Cups a Sustainable Choice?

A Sustainability Expert Weighs In

Question: Why are paper cups a sustainable choice?

Answer: What's obvious is that paper cups are convenient, clean and hygienic. What's less obvious to most of us is that paper cups are made from a renewable resource. 30 paper mills in North America recycle used cups.

Paper mills take used paper cups and re-pulp them, turning them into a variety of products. The fiber from recycled cups is used to make:

  • tissue
  • a variety of paper products
  • recycled paperboard

Paper cups are a sustainable choice because they can be recycled.

They are also a sustainable choice because they are made from a renewable resource, whose cultivation benefits the environment. In other words, they are made with wood fiber from sustainably managed forests, which is a 100% renewable resource. 

The market for wood fiber to make products like paper cups has a beneficial environmental impact:

  • More than 1 billion trees are planted in the U.S. each year. And working forests are sustainably managed
  • Working forests capture and store carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Forests and the products made from them store approximately 14% of all annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions each year.
  • Leftovers from manufacturing, such as chips, barks and sticks, are used to generate bioenergy that powers mills.
  • An estimated two-thirds of the power used to make paper cups and other wood and paper products comes from renewable bioenergy and not from fossil fuels.

Paper products are a good sustainable choice -- they keep lands forested, store carbon, are manufactured with renewable bioenergy, and 支持十大外围足彩网站排行榜的循环系统. 

You can enjoy your paper cup beverage guilt-free...just don't forget to recycle it afterward! But always be sure to check your local recycling guidelines.

The American Forest & Paper Association (十大足彩平台) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. 十大足彩平台 member companies make essential products from renewable and recyclable resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative —Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $350 billion in products annually and employs about 925,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of about $65 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 43 states. Visit 十大足彩平台 online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper