All tree-based paper is ecologically damaging, and it’s hard to find the paper that does the least damage.
Take, for example, the newspapers and cardboard boxes we throw into the recycling can are mostly made from recycled paper. With every reuse they are treated with chemicals and water to remove the inks and impurities. The recycling takes its toll and after about five to seven times the paper fibers lose their strength and end up being thrown into landfill. And the leftover sludge of ink, chemicals and water is either buried in a landfill or burned at the paper mill for energy.
The tree-based paper with the smallest environmental impact is unbleached 100% post-consumer waste paper (PCW paper) while the tree-based paper with the largest environmental impact comes from virgin wood logged in old-growth forests.
Dive deeper into the specifics of paper