Trash is a Big Climate Problem, New Study Finds

New report links trash problem and climate change

Today, our friends at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, and Eco-Cycle launched a new website: The site includes a critical analysis of garbage, incineration and over-packaging and shares great recommendations for addressing this epidemic. Check it out! And below is our brief statement in support of the report they released in conjunction with the report today…


Dogwood Alliance
strongly supports the findings of this report as an important solution to the
climate crisis. As an organization
working to protect the forests of the Southern US,
we continue to seek positive solutions for our forests and for the climate and
following some of the simple steps set forth in this report will help us
achieve that goal. In addition to
recommendations on zero waste strategies, incinerator bans and extended
producer responsibility, as part of our work to solve the packaging problem, we
strongly support the following recommendation:

Regulate paper packaging and junk mail and pass policies
to significantly increase paper recycling
Of the 170 million tons of municipal solid waste disposed each year in
the U.S.,
24.3% is paper and paperboard. The
largest contributors include paper plates and cups (1.18 million tons), telephone
directories (550,000 tons), and junk mail (3.61 million tons). Reducing and recycling paper decrease releases
of numerous air and water pollutants to the environment and conserve energy and
forest resources. When paper mills
increase their use of recovered paper fiber, they lower their requirements for
pulpwood, which extends the fiber base and conserves forest resources. Moreover, the reduced demand for virgin paper
fiber will generally reduce the overall intensity of forest management required
to meet the current level of demand for paper.
This helps to foster environmentally beneficial changes in forest
management practices. For example,
pressure may be reduced to convert natural forests and sensitive ecological
areas such as wetlands into intensively managed pine plantations, and more
trees may be managed on longer rotations to meet the demand for solid wood
products rather than paper fiber.


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