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 Glossy retail catalogues have been replaced by online alternatives, and those heavy paper telephone books have pretty much disappeared for good.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)
Source: Stewardship Ontario data 2003, 2013.
This blog was originally posted on the PPEC website on March 12, 2015
You can read more about this subject in my book Deforestation and Other Fake News