Asked in Science
Is paper bad for the environment?
April 19, 2010 10:49PM
Paper itself is not harmful, it decays very fast as it is composed of organic material (trees). However, the process of making paper may be harmful, as not only does it require deforesting but the tree pulp has to be boiled. Deforesting generally requires heavy machinery that release greenhouse gasses, and boiling tree pulp requires a source of heat, which is likely some sort of combustible fuel. If the combustible fuel is composed of Pennsylvania-originated coal, it is likely to be high is sulfur content and with release SO2 molecules, which are a host of several environmental problems.
In short, there is no easy yes or no to paper being good or bad.