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Why Fiber?

Answering this complex question

The Situation

Recycling is the logical solution to an increasing problem. It helps save energy, reduce landfill use, protects wildlife, is good for the economy and affords you the satisfaction of doing something good for the planet. But despite all the education and scientific studies pointing to the solution, society remains reluctant to fully embrace the notion of recycling. Review the following statistics taken from the Sustainability Management School (SUMAS) in Switzerland, the first business school in the world to launch a BBA and MBA in Sustainability Management.

The science

The Challenges

A few pieces of friction causing resistance towards recycling include:

  • Municipal inconveniences and space imitations
  • The (incorrect) belief that it doesn’t make a difference
  • Feeling that people should be rewarded by something other than the planet’s increased longevity for their efforts.

But there’s hope. Based on the EPA’s most recent reporting in 2017, paper products had a recycling rate of 65.9%, which was among the highest compared to other materials in MSW (municipal solid waste) – and that number is expected to climb dramatically for calendar year 2019. So maybe, just maybe, there’s a turning of the tides.

More on sustainability

Paper Recycling

Understanding the psychology

Many believe we, as a society, have a better understanding of the scientific properties of paper products and how it can easily be recycled into new paper products at a cost that consumers still view as reasonable for the effort. Thanks to this belief, sustainable fiber solutions are increasingly popular and an important step to removing barriers and supporting the normalization of recycling across the world.

According to Nielsen and Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), 60% of Americans fall into the “Sustainable Mainstream” category, which means they want to be more sustainable but they’re also searching for added benefits to that decision.

Can contributing to more sustainable communities improve their health or have minimal impact on their budget? What, tangibly, does participating in a more sustainable lifestyle contribute to the environment and how can they, personally, see that contribution in effect? Providing them with sustainable fiber solutions is an easy way to prove your case on each of those levels.

According to RecyclingBin.com, the process of recycling paper as opposed to making it from new materials generates 74% less air pollution and uses 50% less water. Manufacturing recycled paper uses only 60% of the energy needed to make paper from new materials.

The question “why fiber?” then becomes “why not?” It’s the most logical solution to elevating the notion of recycling in society today, it limits the amount of recyclable material heading to our landfills and it promotes a more sustainable lifestyle in a manageable way.

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