Doesn’t non post-consumer product “recycled paper” just make the lumber industry more profitable?

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    Of course, it makes some horse-sense that if more trees are cut down the lumber industry will make more money.

    But the “lumber industry” has been around for a long time, 1,000s of years in fact, and they’ve had ample time to learn some very hard lessons. The Mediterranean Sea that tourists find so beautifully white and sparkling was once largely forested. And North Africa was once much more fertile. And that goes for the Holy Land, too. Eventually societies learned that they can’t just cut down as many trees as they like.

    And that’s where horse-sense came to businesses involved in lumber. Early on, some forests in Europe became protected under royal authority. They weren’t really ecologists in any modern sense, they mostly wanted nice places to hunt, and forests to grow all the special shapes of lumber needed to build ships. But the beauty of forests wasn’t lost on people, either. (It’s believed that an appreciation for green living things is hard-wired into our genetics.)

    Knowing all this, lumber companies know that there is potential value to ANY part of the wood someone goes to the trouble to bring back to the mill. So the mills develop products especially suited for reused wood, people buy them, everyone’s happy.

    Recycled paper is much the same. If it’s wood-based, and it’s cheap, and there’s a lot of it … the writing is on the wall for the lumber industry. At the very least it can be turned into paper towels!

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