Look around, what kinds of things surround you? Electronics, snacks, pieces of paper? These products didn’t just materialize; they were part of a long process requiring resources from around the world. Your tiny smartphone is composed of hundreds of compartments that require different metal and glass pieces that had to be mined, manufactured, and then transported. Even a sheet of paper has a larger footprint than just the tree it came from. It requires water and energy to go from a large tree to a perfectly thin and white sheet of paper.
The Earth’s population is growing at an alarming rate. According to the United Nation’s 2017 World Population Prospects, each year 83 million people are being added to the global population. There are currently roughly 7.6 billion people on the planet now, but by 2100, this number will jump to 11. 2 billion. More people means more resources being used for basic needs like food, water, electricity, shelter, clothing, and transportation but then also the social and technological needs of our advanced society.
The Rise of Paper
While our society is highly technological, paper is still an important staple in our everyday lives. The industry may have moved towards emails and PDFs instead of paper printouts, but paper was given a new life with the e-commerce movement. Since 2000, the production of paper and paperboard has increased by 23 percent according to the International Energy Agency. Paper is also seen as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. Many single-use plastics are made out of paper instead as it’s easier to recycle and compost.
Double A began in Thailand in 1991. Since that time, it has become known as the number one premium quality paper in Asia. This is attributed to the combination of focus on quality and sustainability. Now it is well known that Double A has many practices rooted in promoting the environment. In fact, Double A converts all waste products to biomass fuels.
Impact on Poorer Countries
The countries with the most natural resources are often the poorest, according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The people in these countries are the ones suffering from the extraction of their country’s resources. The effects are seen on health from the waste associated with the process of removing and refining the natural resources as well as the socio-economic results of finite resources. The limited resources cause conflict and shortages. The profits from these impoverished country’s resources are not put back into their local economies but swept off into the more affluent countries who paid very little for the extraction. In contrast, Double A supports local economies by renting the land for their paper-trees in the khan-na spaces that would otherwise go unused.
Read also: Khan-na: Turning Unused into Unbeliveable
The Impact of Paper
Traditionally, sustainability wasn’t a big concern with the paper industry. There were plenty of trees, and the demand was reasonable. As the demand grows, so does the need for the resources to make trees. All trees can’t be used for paper. Tree suppliers see a depletion in their natural resources as the natural forests are being exploited for less renewable resources.
The process of making paper requires a massive amount of energy and water to make its products. The pulp, paper, and printing sector accounted for 5.6 percent of all industrial energy consumption in 2015 according to the International Energy Agency. In 2014, 42 percent of that energy came from fossil fuels. According to the Water Footprint Calculator, it takes 3.5 gallons of water to make one pound of paper.
The need for sustainability and eco-friendlier business practices is more apparent than ever. Studies have projected the global impact of the use of fossil fuels and its effect on climate change. Many resources are finite and will run out or dramatically increase in price. Industries are having to find alternative ways to source their goods to meet global requirements on sustainability and waste reduction. Double A has changed the paper industry by creating a new source of paper-trees, reducing waste and preserving water.