According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there was a total of 5,510,000 tons of standard mail in the municipal solid waste in 2008. Now, 10% of that is produced from cutting down old growth forests. Chemical pulping, the process by which wood is broken down to make paper, yields about 40-50% of the original wood, and that’s not counting tree leaves. So we can approximate this at about a million tons of wood – or about 18.5 million mature trees. And that’s just old growth forest – most of the rest of source material for paper production comes from trees as well, such as second and third generation forests and specifically grown trees. Just to add to that, 8,800,000 tons of newspapers and 2,050,000 tons of magazines were thrown out, and probably a good amount of that was delivered as mail.
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