Paper Consumption Declining

By Deane Barker on February 9, 2008

Pushing Paper Out the Door: The only good news I’ve heard about the environment in ages.

After rising steadily in the 1980s and â??90s, worldwide paper consumption per capita has plateaued in recent years. In the richest countries, consumption fell 6 percent from 2000 to 2005, from 531 to 502 pounds a person. The data bolsters the view of experts like Mr. Kahle who say paper is becoming passé.

This is the critical point, I think:

“Paper is no longer the master copy; the digital version is,” says Brewster Kahle, the founder and director of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library.

Very true.

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  1. I’m curious what the corresponding petroleum consumption is. It is not clear that the paper consumption is limited to just office products or not. It seems to me that more and more packaged items are coming in plastic packaging rather than paperboard boxes.

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