According to the 2008 data from the Environmental Protection Agency, 3.46 million tons of paper tissues and towels were thrown out in municipal solid waste, nearly all of which was not recovered. EPA also states that 2/3 of new paper is produced from new wood (1/3 comes from recycling). So we’re cutting down about 2.3 million tons of trees a year to make towels and tissues.
Every tree species weighs differently so I can’t provide an arbitrary average number. For scale, the largest organism in the world, an Aspen grove in Utah that shares a root system, is about 6,000 tons. The largest single tree, the General Sherman sequoia, has a trunk that weighs 1,800 tons, and the heaviest tree that was fully measured weighed 3,300 tons.
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