Does recycling save trees according to economics?Does recycling save trees according to economics?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You could at least make the argument that recycling paper would not save trees.  There are at least four ways you could do this.

  1. If recycled paper will cost more than paper from trees, then the recycled paper will not really be able to compete with regular paper and will not save trees.
  2. Even if it is cheaper, you could say that it would increase the supply of paper.  This would lead to there being a higher equilibrium quantity of paper supplied and demanded.  It could be that the new quantity would be high enough that more trees would have to be cut down to meet it.
  3. If there's less demand for paper, fewer trees will be planted to meet the demand so there will be fewer trees.
  4. Most of the trees being cut down aren't for paper anyway so that won't help.


giorgiana1976 | Student

40% of the total waste generated in our regular activities are waste paper. Before you throw them in the trash, you must think about two things:

First, the paper requires about 5 years to be biodegradable, and a product of this process is methane, a potent greenhouse gas, which retains more heat in the atmosphere, 20 times than carbon dioxide.

Secondly, for one tonne of paper are cut 20 trees, and there are wasting significant amounts of water and other natural resources.

A ton of paper that go from recycled saves 20 trees from cutting, and more, with money obtained can be planted another 100 trees. In fact, it means to put out a paper and 2 sheets of writing a day for one year. And because paper can recycle up to 7 times, we could choose to use in our activities, sheets of recycled paper, which after use can lead them back to recycle.