Save More than 2 Million Trees every year by using only recycled papers in Schools

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Swayam Jha
Swayam Jha signed this petition

Honorable Reader,

The human wickedness like extensive overuse of non-renewable resources i.e. non-sustainable development, the clearing of forests for urbanization and wood use, etc. are causing major ravage to Ecology. And one of the wickedness is the use of "Virgin Papers" in schools for assignments and different types of School works. Trees create an ecosystem to provide habitat and food for birds and other animals. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gasses, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, from the air and release oxygen. A Tree can add music to your life by attracting birds and other animals. A tree can provide pleasant smells. A Cherry Tree can perfume the air with 200,000 flowers and many more such things. But what we have done in return? Cutting trees for self-development just for money? We are cutting down more than 2 million trees every year just from India just for Virgin paper, even though we can use recycled paper for school assignments.

An Indian school which is till 12th grade and subdivided into 3 sections, A, B, C each section consist of 20 students, one student from that school would use approximately about 700 (1.4 reams) of 21cmx29.7cm sheets of virgin paper per year for 5 main subjects i.e. Hindi, English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science(excluding the additional/optional subjects as it differs from school to school) and approximately 50 sheets for project work for all 5 main subjects per year. So, the total amount of Virgin sheets used by a single student belongs to a single school would be 750 sheets or 1.5 reams of sheet.  A school that consists of 12th class will use about 45000x12= 5,40,000 or about 1080 reams of virgin sheets. One tree can produce about 8,333(16.7 reams) of virgin sheets[1]. So, the total production of 1080 reams of virgin sheets requires about 64 trees. Conclusively, a single school consumes about 64 trees per annum. There are approximately 2016 senior secondary schools in New Delhi (2013-14)[2], which means the total number of trees required is 1,29,024 and the total sheets required are about 1,07,51,56,992 or 21,50,314 reams of virgin paper, for new Delhi. India consists of 29 states and 9 Union territories(2019) so approximately the total number of sheets consumed by all the union territories is approx. 26,62,20,000(excluding the middle and primary schools as well as Ladakh as the data not found and new Delhi because already calculated above) or 5,32,440 reams of virgin paper which conclusively would require 31,840 number of trees approx[3]. in India, provided that the number of middle and Primary schools is not taken into account for calculating the number 31,840. So, the final value of reams of virgin sheets is 26,82,754 and which means 1,60,864 number of trees is consumed for Note-book and project file paper in all the union territories of India.

Assume that each state of India has approx. 1000 of senior secondary schools. Then, there are 29,000 schools(approx.) in 29 states. So, the total sheets of Virgin paper are consumed approx. equals to 15,66,00,00,000 or 3,13,20,000 reams. Which means, 18,72,936 trees are required for that amount of virgin paper. The finalized value i.e. the sigma of the number of trees required for all union territories and states is  20,33,800(approx. 2 million).

The Virgin paper used for the school works can be often recycled up to 7 times[3]. This means that we can use a single sheet of virgin paper up to 7 times. Conclusively, if Indian school's work requires is 3,40,02,754  reams of virgin sheets in 1 year then after adopting the recycling paper guideline Indian schools will use the same amount of paper for 7 years and we can conserve 20,33,800 for 7 years interval, just by using recycled paper in schools. It is self-evident that how much benefit the planet Earth would get by saving 20,33,800 trees every year. 

It should be noted that how the final value becomes enormous even when the initial assumption is taken so small i.e. Only Sr. Sec. schools have been taken into account and it is assumed that only 3 sections are in one-grade consist of only 20 students.

There is also a dis-advantages of recycling paper, recycling plants often rely on electricity from fossil fuels which leads to the emission of Co2, No2, So2, and methane[4]. And recent researches show that in the seasonally flooded part of the Amazon, the trees become a massive chimney for pumping out methane.” Emissions from individual trees were more than 200 times higher than any previously measured anywhere[5].

In contrast to the above two points, We all know that trees absorb Co2 but trees are also capable of removing So2 from the atmosphere[6]. Recent research
suggests that the planting of trees could reduce
NO2 concentrations in addition to providing amenity value.[7]

Even for an individual tree, the methane element usually turns out to be quite small compared to carbon storage[5]. And besides storing carbon, they recycle moisture, create shade, stimulate cloud formation, protect biodiversity, and cleanse the air.

After the counter-argument for the above two points that is against the recycling of paper. The following points describe the disadvantages of manufacturing Virgin paper:

1) Air Pollution: The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a publicly available database maintained by the EPA's TRI Program that tracks the management in the U.S. of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. In the U.S., total industrial releases of toxic waste into the air were 690 million pounds (313,000 tonnes) in 2015 and pulp and paper accounted for 20%. Of the releases to the air by the pulp and paper industry, 60% were methanol which is not a persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemical and is not a carcinogen. Several PBTs are emitted by the pulp and paper industry at measurable levels, including lead, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), dioxins, furans and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Nitrogen oxides sulfur oxides and carbon dioxide are all emitted during pulp and paper manufacturing. NO2and SO2 are major contributors of acid rain and CO2 is a greenhouse gas responsible for climate change[8]

2) Water Pollution: In Canada, the pulp and paper industry released 5% of the total industrial waste disposed of to water in 2015. In 2014, 97.5%, 99.9% and 99.8% of effluent samples from pulp and paper mills met regulatory requirements for toxicity tests on fish, biochemical oxygen demand, and total suspended solids, respectively. In Canada, the pulp and paper industry released 5% of the total industrial waste disposed of to water in 2015. In 2014, 97.5%, 99.9% and 99.8% of effluent samples from pulp and paper mills met regulatory requirements for toxicity tests on fish, biochemical oxygen demand, and total suspended solids, respectively.[8]

3) Paper waste: Discarded paper and paperboard make up roughly 26% (or 67 million tons) of the 258 million tons of solid municipal waste generated in 2014 and over 14% of the 136 million tons solid municipal waste that ended up in landfills in 2014. Paper waste, like other wastes, faces the additional hazard of toxic inks, dyes, and polymers that could be potentially carcinogenic when incinerated, or commingled with groundwater via traditional burial methods such as modern landfills. Paper recycling mitigates this impact, but not the environmental and economic impact of the energy consumed by manufacturing, transporting and burying and or reprocessing paper products.[8]

4) Green-house gases emission: Disposing of paper in landfill sites, and subsequent breakdown and production of methane (a potent greenhouse gas) also adds to the carbon footprint of paper products. This is another reason why paper recycling is beneficial for the environment. Paper recovery, instead of landfilling can reduce the global warming potential of paper products by 15 to 25%.[8]

Lakhs of trees every year are required only for schoolwork, so why our Respected Government and all the educational boards like C.B.S.E, I.C.S.E, and the other state boards can't make guidelines regarding the conservation of paper and trees i.e. To ban the Virgin paper in schools and To use only recycled paper? This can save trees up to. 7 years of interval As an aware human, we all know the preciousness of Nature and we can not let the wickedness of humans to ruin the Ecology.

Mother Earth is calling us all for help, screaming which we are just ignoring. So, please let's together eradicate the wickedness of humans regarding nature by Using only recycled paper for school's work like the projects and internal assessment. A little contribution of yours would wipe out our Mother Earth's tears otherwise..................So please #HelpNature and be a better son/daughter of our Mother Earth!

“We Don’t Have A Planet B”

#NOMOREVIRGINPAPER

#Government Ban Virgin paper in schools.

 

Thank you for spending your precious time

Respected Regards,

Swayam Jha

REFERENCES

1) https://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jestft/papers/vol9-issue8/Version-1/C09811017.pdf

2)  http://www.environmentportal.in/files/file/Stattistical%20Abstract%20of%20Delhi%202014.pdf

3) https://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/science/21qna.html

4) https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/is-recycling-paper-bad-for-the-environment/

5) https://e360.yale.edu/features/scientists-probe-the-surprising-role-of-trees-in-methane-emissions

6)  https://enviroatlas.epa.gov/enviroatlas/DataFactSheets/pdf/ESC/SulfurDioxideremovedannuallybytreecover.pdf

7) http://www.wrolls.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2016-04-05-Green-Lanes-White-Paper.pdf

8) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper